Apple computer advertised 2 different models of the iPad: one at $500 with wifi only Internet capability, and one with wifi and 3G coverage for $14.95 for 250 MB of data per month, or $30 a month for unlimited data (provided by AT&T)
This 3G was a no contract plan, requiring no longterm committment from consumers and was a Major buying factor for a large number of buyers, myself included. The fact one could upgrade to a reasonably priced unlimited plan at any time for a single month enticed us to purchase the more expensive unit.
Now AT&T, 32 days after the huge initial rush of iPad with 3G models were sold, and 1-5 days after they became ineligible for returns to Apple, AT&T announces effective June 7, 2010, they are completely changing the two iPad data plans to:
200 mb a month for $15 with $10 for every 200 MB thereafter
2 GB a month for $25 with $10 for every GB after
I view this rate hike and significant change to the costs of ownership of the iPad 3G to be a material change to the functionality of the device. While AT&T is offering to grandfather subscribers to the unlimited data plan , I purchased a device I was supposed to only have to pay for 3G coverage in the months I needed it. As it is, I will have to either give up the unlimited plan, or pay $360 a year to maintain it or lose it forever, effectively placing me under contract
Either Apple Computer should be forced to refund the difference or portion thereof of the iPad vs iPad 3G difference, or AT&T should be forced to offer continued a la cart per month unlimited plans for all people who purchased the iPad 3G before their announced price change, for at least 365 days from the American release of the device April 30, 2010, Or apple computer should be forced to accept returns of all iPad 3G models purchased before the AT&t plan change announcement for an additional 90 days with no restocking fee and no requirement the consumer also returns the box.
No cellular provider in the US is an alternative to AT&T coverage in the US market.
If enough people do that, Apple will need to respond to this.
[edited to fix iPhone-induced ironic typo]
I wonder when we'll see the famed Jobs reality distortion field try and sell us on 2GB being enough data for anyone.
This also exposes the ridiculousness of mobile data pricing - the excess charges are $10 per extra 1GB, but the base plan is $15 for 250MB? Hmm.
1) This is mostly AT&T putting a stake in the ground now to be able to charge more in the future. Yes, 98% of subscribers currently use less than 2GB of data but that won't be true in 2-3 years. Instead of increasing those 200MB/2GB limits carriers will offer additional plans and reshape/abolish existing ones to nudge people into upper tiers. As happened with minutes and SMS, you'll pay more for less as time goes on, even as the cost to carriers plummets.
2) I don't know what sort of bandwidth VOIP uses, but I bet it's a lot less attractive as an alternative to regular calling with a 2GB limit.
3) Tethering is also a lot less attractive there's a 2GB data limit. Note that extra $20 doesn't buy you any more data, it just allows you to use your existing data in a different way. That really really stinks.
4) The overage charges also stink. On the $25 plan you pay $10 for an extra GB, on the $15 you pay $15 for an extra 200MB. That's just nasty.
Pandora uses 64 kbps for normal quality and 128 kbps for high quality.
64 kilobits (Kb) = 8 kilobytes (KB)
8 kilobytes = 0.008 megabytes (MB)
0.008 MB per second * 60 seconds = 0.48 MB per minute
0.48 MB per minute * 60 minutes = 28.8 MB per hour
28.8 MB per hour * 8 hours = 230.4 MB per work day
230.4 MB per day * 23 work days in a month (max) = 5,299.2 MB
5,299.2 MB = ~5.3 GB
Basically you get 3 days of streaming music per month. Wow, that's pretty low.
What was the thing you were trying to link to? Tinyurl has no idea what it is supposed to be (at least for me).
Get on wi-fi, or pay the extra $30 a month and get over it.
If we didn't buy so many ipads with practically criminal TOSes then we wouldn't be stuck with a device that is tied to one of the worst cell phone providers in the world.
If more people demanded open network selection, and refused to buy an ipad until it was available on any network then we would have the features we want.
There is no way this is a good for Apple and conversely, it's unlikely Jobs had any control over this change. Remember, this is ATT's move, not Apple's.
Meanwhile androids infiltrate all other major networks..
The cost of doing that depends on the contract.
How much do you think that Apple should pay to do this? How much do you think that they're willing to pay? (My guess is that Apple isn't willing to pay more than they'd make by doing so.)
So the "deal" was "epic bait-and-switch"?
Carrier unlocked does not mean that it will work well with other US carriers, just that i can work with any SIM.
Point is you can take it anywhere in the world there is 3G coverage (at the right frequencies) stick a SIM in it and it will work. Not so with the iPhone (unless you bought an unlocked one, which is not possible in the US).
What I did find was the sale of $60-$100 devices/dongles that would enable you to use your iPad with T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.
Is it not only me that has trouble finding a clear statement about this (esp. on store.apple.com)?
For users, there's no cost-benefit balance for using bandwidth, only benefit. This leads to inefficient use of what is, at the end of the day, a limited resource. For the carrier, there's every incentive to minimize the amount of network activity, so they can squeeze more users onto the network. It's hard to know how this affects Apple, but is there any doubt that the fragility of the exclusive carrier in their primary market has affected their development schedules and priorities? App developers don't care about bandwidth, except to the extent that they can get their app banned by the carrier if they use too much of it.
Unlimited data plans are not the only factor, but it's no coincidence that AT&T has such poor network performance, doesn't allow tethering etc. This even affects iPhone users in other countries - would the iPhone have supported tethering earlier, if AT&T could make more money from the increased network activity? What about downloading music over the air? Skype?
With a pay-for-what-you-use pricing scheme, the interests of the user and the carrier are more closely aligned. The ideal would be something like Amazon's S3 pricing: based on usage, metered in small increments, and cheap!
Similar behavior was seen when telecoms had to give up on long distance phone charges. And again with text messages. This is just more of the same. And I will tell you why customers won't put up with it - it's very hard for an average person to know how much data they are consuming. They don't want to know either, it's just another thing to worry about.
The point here is that cellular bandwidth is scarce. Apple and Google jump through all sorts of hoops to use less of it, while still providing a good user experience. If consumers don't feel some of the pain of that it leads to real problems. I can tell you that I have much better service here in Canada, with tiered data plans, than AT&T customers do.
As for consumers putting up with it, we'll see. People never had problems understanding how long-distance worked. And charging by the minute seems to be working well for Skype.
Today it's hard to see how much data you've downloaded, but it doesn't have to be that way. I see two causes for this: 1) It's hard to present an itemized bill for data usage the way telecoms have traditionally done for calls. 2) There aren't many tools for monitoring and managing data usage because right now it doesn't matter. Everyone (int the US) has unlimited data plans, so why bother? But these are solvable problems.
That's because a minute of usage for both Skype or long distance calling is easily quantifiable. If I talk on the phone for 10 minutes at a long distance rate of 10 cents a minute, easy, that's a buck.
Heck, it was easy 10 years ago when we had WAP phones that used circuit switched data, because a minute of browsing the web meant a minute of airtime.
But how do you tell an unsophisticated user that given the bit rate and duration of a video on Youtube or song on Pandora, he'll use X amount of data? What is the best way to explain how many web pages or Google maps driving directions they can access before he bumps into the limit? How much data is behind a Foursquare checkin?
Edit: ATT puts per-session data usage on detailed bills (meaning my data bill would be 30 pages long if printed), but its altogether useless at trying to match back to what you were doing when you generated those data usage records.
On the flip side, even as a "sophisticated" user, I can't tell how much bandwidth a given video will use, or how long I can afford to stream Pandora to my phone. But it doesn't mater. My carrier provides an app that I can use to check my usage, and I can see how much I've used as a percentage of my limit. It's easy to get a sense of "been watching a lot of video lately, gotta ease up on that," or, "oops, downloading that ISO over tethering wasn't a good idea." It's not long before you have an intuitive sense of what things cost, in terms of bandwidth. I find I don't have to pay much attention unless I use tethering, but my data plan has 6GB cap.
if apple ever starts supporting streaming media via the ipod app to the ipad, this would seriously cripple it.
I feel like I was bamboozled. I bought something for a certain price, and by the time it arrives the terms have changed and suddenly I'm getting a lot less data for slightly less money.
This: you'd need to have the iPad in hand and activated with AT&T, and should you ever cancel it there's no going back.
- iPhone tethering will cost $20/month. And it only works if you have the 2GB/month DataPro plan already.
- This is set to take effect on the same day as Jobs's WWDC keynote, June 7th.
And I wouldn't perceive myself as using it that much. I mainly surf the web, and play games on it.
Maybe someone can put up a poll for iPhone/iPad users.
Can anyone find that quote or story? I'm drawing a blank, but it seemed to be one of the stupidest things I'd read in a while at that point.
My guess is that people have been using so much 3G data that AT&T realizes they'll be in a horrible situation as the iPad adoption grows - could be 4-5 million 3G devices with long battery life basically in an 'always on' state, using up far more bandwidth than anyone predicted.
That said, I just can not figure out why people can't seem to predict this. Most active users (the early adopters) can easily use 5-10 gig on a ipad as part of their 'always on' lifestyle. This isn't rocket science.
It’s easy and takes only a few minutes to file a complaint.
Here’s the company info to make filling out the forms easier:
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
175 East Houston Street
Dallas, TX 78205-2255
I believe that the key points are:
Apple touted and advertised the $29.99 data plan as a major inducement to buy the iPad 3g.
Apple described it as a “breakthrough deal” with AT&T, leading consumers to believe that Apple had locked in the terms and price.
A key, heavily advertised, feature was the ability to jump between plans or have no 3G plan as dictated by needs and budget.
The “grandfathering” announced by AT&T forces customers to either keep an unlimited plan continuously active in order to not lose it.
The change in the plans has significant impact on the value of the device and the manner in which it can be used.
We want AT&T and Apple to honor the advertised deal, not give us money, a coupon, a refund, free service for a month, etc. (That’s what I want, anyway.)
If you’re one of the people cheering because your bill got cut by $5 per month, don’t bother with replying to this. This is a legal issue related to FTC rules and regulations on false and deceptive advertising, not whether you like the new plans better because you don’t happen to move more than 2GB per month.
Damn you accursed AT&T.
This does look to me like bait and switch. People should not stand for this and show their displeasure by keeping their money in their pockets.
I'm sure Steve is thrilled that AT&T just took a crap on his lap by significantly changing the way the average person can use their iPad. It's even better that they sneak this in 1 month after the iPad launch, after Steve has fully demoed the iPad to the public, showing the most common uses as bandwidth intensive. It's almost like AT&T wants to lose Apple, and finally resorted to personally embarrassing Steve. (Golden Rule: You can never undo what you have demoed.) If this doesn't break the deal between Apple and AT&T, then nothing will!
RAPE RAPE RAPE!
RAPE RAPE RUH RUH RAPE RUH RAPE RRrrrrrrrrrRAPE!"
Reporter: "What do you mean?"
AT&T CEO: "RAPE RAPE PROFIT RAPE RAPE RAPE PROFIT RAPE STEVE JOBS' BITCH RAPE RAPE RAPE PROFIT RAPE RAPE".
AT&T is just further proof that the Sherman Anti-Trust Laws have been a joke played against the public ever since Microsoft was given a light tap on their posterior as punishment for their crimes against the nation.
$15/month for 200MB is equivalent to paying $22,500/Mbps.
As a soon to be ex-at&t and iphone user, every single interaction with at&t and apple makes my anus hurt. But at least the call quality is second to none. Wait, is none really the word I mean to use?
Seriously, though, this has irritated me since the days where dialup internet access was all a normal person could get. All these plans were "unlimited", but in the TOS they made it clear that if you tried to use the service too much, or tried to stay connected too long, you're account would be suspended or closed.
Something is either unlimited or it isn't. If there's a cap it isn't unlimited. I guess I might cut them some slack if they described it as "effectively unlimited" (meaning that there was more bandwidth than an everyday person could expect to use). Of course, on many services that have been labeled "unlimited", even that would be arguable.
Of course, I don't expect most people in advertising to be honest about anything (goods/services are usually described as a hundred times better than they could possibly be), but that doesn't mean I'm not still annoyed by it.
Because of the way it was announced, a lot of people bought the 3G model just as a hedge that when they might need data they were covered. For example when on vacation they could switch on the $30 unlimited data plan just for the duration of their trip, because that would be cheaper than buying wifi in airports and hotels.
Now this is is not possible and Apple and ATT are going to have some explaining to do.
I never imagined the pricing would change so drastically merely a month after the iPad 3G began shipping. At least in the US, you can't even order the 3G version and hope to have it in time to get the deal advertised on Apple's site anymore (estimated delivery is 7 to 10 days).
If nothing else this seems like a huge breach of trust between Apple and their customers, even if it is AT&T's fault.
Exactly. Apple should have had some sort of contract with AT&T to maintain their pricing for at least a reasonable period of time (e.g. 1yr) rather than changing the pricing structure immediately after launch.