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AT&T Gives Up on the iPad 3G Unlimited Data Plan (mashable.com)
121 points by jrwoodruff on June 2, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 103 comments

The sign up any time you want unlimited plan is why I waited a month for the 3G to be available and why I paid a 130 dollar premium... This is completely untenable for apple to allow this to happen not even six months later. As a matter of fact, the announcement is VERY suspiciously timed exactly 1 month and 1day after the sale of the 3G ipads, making them unreturnable!!!

If you bought it from a big box store (rather than directly from Apple), you can probably still return it. Most stores will give you 2 or 3 extra days past the "30 day" limit, you just need to ask a manager.

BestBuy iPads came with a yellow sticker limiting to 14 days, not 30.

As of now, Apple still has not updated their product page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/3g/

Existing iPad customers, who already have the $29.99 unlimited monthly plan can choose to keep it

Right, but one of the very appealing things about the iPad data plan is that you can start or stop service whenever you like. But now, if you stop your unlimited plan (or hadn't started it yet) the unlimited option ceases to be available to you.

Here is my FTC complaint. You too can file one!


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 Or 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.

Have you tried going to an Apple store and just asking for the non-3G iPad + refund of the difference?

If enough people do that, Apple will need to respond to this.

Well said! It's hard to argue this is anything but a bait and switch.

Good letter. I have a feeling the class action attorneys are going to have a field day with this one.

My understanding is few companies have as many class action lawsuits against it as Apple. Perhaps Microsoft is the only one who has more. An old customer of mine is a lawyer specializing in class-action lawsuits, last time I talked to him about it he had filed suit against Apple seven times.

Thanks for filing the complaint. I posted my disappointment with AT&T on our blog at http://gpapps.com .

Yes, the issue is most of us don't wish to use the unlimited plan every day of the year. We want to use it the 2 months we travel somewhere and don't want to worry about internet access. That's $360 a yr vs $60 a year.

Right, but if you bought the iPad, with the intent of getting service only when you needed it, and haven't yet needed it…

Then your actual need for an unlimited bandwidth mobile service may be less strong than it felt.

Your reasoning there is flawed. I'm a heavy bandwidth user, but most of the time, I'm in my home or around town where I know of the WiFi hotspots. When I'm traveling, I'm sitting in airports or in places where I can't get WiFi easily. My bandwidth requirements don't change with my location, but the accessibility of non cellular networks does.

It's only been one month.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall for the screaming matches between AT&T and Apple. This must be a prelude to AT&T losing exclusivity on the iPhone and punishing Apple for it. With all the data intensive iPad apps (e.g., Netflix) and the video conferencing coming in the next OS, this is a brutal move by AT&T. Factor in the dynamics of Android competition and we are in for some interesting telco moves in the coming months. Short term though, this is gonna suck for the consumer.

[edited to fix iPhone-induced ironic typo]

If this is a prelude to AT&T losing their exclusivity then it's an odd move - the standard "unlimited data" cap on Verizon is 5GB. I'm not sure why AT&T would charge more for less compared to a competitor who was about to offer an alternative for their customers.

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.

Further thoughts:

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.

My feeling is ATT plans to offer ~5GB at ~$35 later. They probably don't want to announce it now since it will immediately be visible that they are charging more for less data. I foresee a rush of ipad 3G purchases from now to June7.

Elsewhere it was noted that iPad orders are now being placed on hold until the 7th... :(

For some perspective on how low 2GB is, this isn't just about video, it is audio streaming too...

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
Double that if you are listing to the high quality stream.

True, but if you're at work it can just go over WiFi (or just use Pandora on your computer). I think it's a bum deal because the terms changed just a month in, but as an iPad owner I'd have to try hard to use 2GB per month outside the range of WiFi.

Not where I work. We have approved devices and insanely secure wi-fi that, even when you are connected, has surf-block implemented. Which is why I bought an iPad with an unlimited plan.

Quite a lot of folks use 3G at work to avoid monitoring and/or the corporate firewall.

Let's not forget about magazine apps either. There was a recent submission about Wired's app being 500MB for one issue. If all of the magazine apps end up being the same size, you could only get 4 mags per month and nothing else.

You can't get 500MB downloads over 3G. The App Store forces you to wait for wifi.

Ah, wasn't aware of that.

8 kilobytes / second in hours until 2 gigabytes = 73 (http://tinyurl.com/3yrdjq)

Basically you get 3 days of streaming music per month. Wow, that's pretty low.

This is a perfect example of why tinyurl (or anything like it) is a completely worthless, harmful service.

What was the thing you were trying to link to? Tinyurl has no idea what it is supposed to be (at least for me).

But who's using Pandora over 3G 40 hours a week? I would imagine that's a nearly infinitesimal number of people (i.e., not worth investing the money in a plan just for them).

Get on wi-fi, or pay the extra $30 a month and get over it.

The parent is demonstrating how low 2GB actually is. It's not meant to describe a situation in which a user is actually likely to exceed the 2GB cap.

I hate to say this because it just makes me angry but it's all our fault.

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.

Ah the free market at it's best. Allowing consumers to unwittingly screw themselves over and over. Steve Jobs approved.

I'm sure Jobs was as against this change as the rest of us - do you really think this is something Jobs would willing do and 'approve'. Seriously?

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.

You can use other GSM providers with the iPad, it's not locked to AT&T.

Barely a month and they kill this plan? This was a large part of the reason I decided to buy a 3G iPad. Isn't it past time for Apple to dump ATT?

I bet Steve would want to for a long time. But it's an exclusive deal, so AT&T has the upper hand here, i think. If the rumours are true, AT&T has a 5-year-exclusive contract with Apple. That's still a lot time left. Ironically, this exclusiveness is some sort of lock in (from at&t's side) and here it's widely considered harmful :)

Meanwhile androids infiltrate all other major networks..

If things get bad enough, can't Apple buy out the rest of the contract ahead of time?

They can ignore it and pay damages if there is no cancellation clause. It is highly unlikely a court would enjoin them from doing some as pro consumer as opening their platform to another US provider.

It doesn't make sense to work out such a contract without a cancellation clause. They could as well just make a verbal promise without signing something. Penalties are usually very, very high if one side doesn't fulfill its part of the contract. By high i mean high enough so that Steve still sticks to AT&T ;)

You have a lot of faith in the pro-consumer stance of courts.

Nobody knows. I imagine that both Apple and AT&T have enough money to afford lawyers who make such contracts really painful when another party wants to dropout. This is usually the case for most such contracts. My guess is, that Steve is currently balancing the benefits and tradeoffs of dropping out of the contract. Will Apple have to pay too much? Or will Apple lose too much to Android while staying with AT&T?

> If things get bad enough, can't Apple buy out the rest of the contract ahead of time?

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.)

Could anyone tell me the problem here? The iPad is not bound to AT&T, so just pop out your current SIM, get a new one from a different provider and you are good to go.

I hope Apple gets hit hard on this. Either they didn't sign a contract with AT&T and got blindsided, in which case they're guilting of creating a carrier-locked device that enabled this to happen, or they were fully aware of the upcoming changes and decided to misrepresent the product back in February. Would this have happened if the iPad was T-Mobile 3G compatible? I really doubt it.

It's especially egregious given that the presentation slide for the unveiling read: "BREAKTHROUGH DEAL WITH AT&T": http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2010/01/apple-...

So the "deal" was "epic bait-and-switch"?

iPad is NOT carrier locked

You can't get 3G speed on T-mobile with an iPad though can you?

Not sure, but carrier lock means that you cannot use a SIM that is not from the carrier that it is locked to ( like the iPhone ).

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).

Yes, I'm not suggesting that the iPad isn't an unlocked device. Just pointing out that there is "effective" lock-in in terms of high speed data service.

T-Mobile and AT&T 3G services require different antennae (and possibly chips). You can use the same device to access their GSM networks and get onto Edge, but when it comes to 3G a device either supports one or the other. To my knowledge there are no phones (or devices) on the market that support both AT&T and T-Mobile in the same device.

Correct. That's why it's "effective" lock-in. I can't see any technical reason not to support all 3G frequencies, but until these kinds of devices do we'll have this effective lock-in problem.

For smaller devices (i.e. phones), the issue may just be space, since you may need to include yet another antenna, as well as possibly another chip needing to be included.

You mean the band used is different? T-Mobile is, apparently, using WCDMA and AT&T seems to advertise WCDMA/HSPA. Are there other differences in addition to this?

IIRC, that's why there is a Nexus One for T-Mobile and a Nexus One for AT&T. You can use either to connect to GSM/Edge, but you need the carrier-specific model to connect to 3G. I believe it's a band issue, but I haven't read a whole lot on the topic.

When I googled regarding alternative carriers and iPad a couple days ago I had trouble finding clear statements of this.

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)?

Finally! I've been hoping AT&T would ditch the unlimited plans for a long time. Although it sounds good, unlimited plans are a real problem, because they distort the incentives for just about everybody.

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!

I remember all these same arguments circa 1989-1994 about internet access. You could pay hourly or per data. Needless to say... we all know how that ended up. And we all know how it's going to end up in the near future with telecoms. The same pricing scheme as high speed internet. You'll pay for reliability and minimum performance guarantees. Those that don't care about reliability or performance will have cheaper unlimited access. In the meanwhile they are going to milk the old system for every cent of profit that they can.

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 "unlimited" access that you have with high-speed internet isn't really unlimited. The limits are just measured differently. Whether it's 2GB/month or 30Mb/s, you're still limited to some amount of data over some amount of time. On top of that many (all?) ISPs will cut you off if you "abuse" you're "unlimited" dataplan.

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.

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.

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.

You've just restated my points 1) and 2). But it's not as much a problem as you think. Long distance charges usually aren't predictable in advance: you know you're being billed by the minute, but you don't know how long the conversation will be, and you probably don't know the per-minute rate. What's the rate when calling an Irish cell phone? Or a landline in Guayaquil, Ecuador? You can probably look it up, but it's not simple.

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.

On the other hand, what if mobile data is more like "unlimited" web hosting than dial-up or long distance?

wow - talk about a bait and switch. if i was on the road and used my ipad anything like i do at home on my wifi, i would burn through 2GB/month more often than not.

if apple ever starts supporting streaming media via the ipod app to the ipad, this would seriously cripple it.

Well apple website still advertises unlimited plan: http://www.apple.com/ipad/3g/

So if I bought an iPad a few days ago am I grandfathered? Or does it need to be delivered and activated before I'm a 'customer'?

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.

>Or does it need to be delivered and activated before I'm a 'customer'?

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.

Also mentioned:

- 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.

Whoa, you're kidding me right? I know it's still available for existing customers. Thing is, that's a VERY small portion of long term iPad customers. 2gb a month will not cut it. This is a huge detriment to the iPad. Apple needs to cut them out ASAP. I can get past the service problems, taking on the iPhones sudden influx of traffic is more difficult than they think. Capping data at a measly TWO GB? That's absurd.

Is this true? Nobody is offering any statistics. What is your current usage? What would drive you over 2Gb?

Video content is the primary culprit. A few episodes of any substantive-length video podcast pushes you over the cap before you even use your device for anything else. Take "This Week in Startups" for example. The last episode was 700mb. So 1:40 worth of video content would consume 35% of your available data.

The only thing I use my iPad for is watching TV shows and university lectures I downloaded from iTunes store. I'd be WAY over 2GB. Then again, I'm not sure if you can download this content over 3G as I don't have that model of the iPad.

Watching 4 episodes of "Breaking Bad".

I just peeked at my iPhone cellular data usage. 650 Megs.

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.

Seems amazing Apple didn't have the current price tier as a guarantee for at least some period of time. They based a lot of the push for the 3G model in the US around the 3G pricing.

I seem to remember some pundit stating they believed the reason AT&T agreed to the initial pricing in the first place was that they didn't think many people would be using 3G on the ipad, preferring wifi instead.

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.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is empowered by law to investigate and address deceptive marketing practices such as these by Apple and AT&T.

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:

Apple 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014 408-996-1010

AT&T 175 East Houston Street Dallas, TX 78205-2255 210-821-4105.

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.

You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau


Bait and switch. The unlimited, on/offable 3GS was a big selling point for the iPad. I wonder when the first class-action suit will break out.

I was going to sell my WiFi iPad and switch to the 3G, but now I'm going to stay put. I have a mobile hotspot with a true unlimited plan from Millenicom, which I use for all devices. I would have liked the GPS and the 3G, but AT&T just lost a customer. (It's also not attractive to get one for my Dad either, for his month-long stints in Florida.)

As of right now, if you're an existing iPad user, you can still sign up for the unlimited plan (I just tried it).

Ahhh crap, my iPad isn't scheduled for delivery until June 15th.

Damn you accursed AT&T.

I think the 2GB isn't so bad if they charged half the original price instead of only $4 less. If it cost $15 for 2GB/month this may not be as big a deal.

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 might be totally wrong, but the date (June 7) and the fact that this is being announced just after a month of iPad launch might mean Apple might have dropped a bomb on AT&T internally (like no more exclusivity) which would be announced in WWDC and AT&T is retaliating.

Well its not in effect yet, because I just now signed up for the 29.99 unlimited plan via my iPad (I've been meaning to for about a week). AT&T having a large bureaucracy, there is probably a sizable delay between this announcement and its actual rollout.

June 7th, as clearly stated in the initial press release. Also just so happens to be the first day of WWDC.

I bought the 3G iPad but I only plan on buying an AT&T plan when I know that I'm going to be somewhere without wifi for an extended period of time. I keep "marking the spot" on my iPhone. Yet my service seems to be getting worse.

If I notice improvements on reliability and coverage in the SF area for this, its totally worth it. I just want coverage that works, if this solves it, awesome.

aaaaaand that's why I'm moving my plan to Verizon this week.

sigh- I suppose I really may have to dump my iPhone. Tethering was a promised feature in the 3gs.

This is garbage, I am so mad at AT&T... Why do the consumers always lose

Wow! AT&T has to be one of the dumbest fucking corporations in the world.

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!

Reporter asking AT&T's CEO: What is it that you, AT&T, does?




Reporter: "What do you mean?"


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?

While I sympathise with people who feel mislead, we all know there is no such thing as "unlimited data". No teleco can honestly provide "unlimited data", it's just not possible or econonically viable. It's common for telecos to actually have a hidden limit on their unlimited plan. At least now they are being (more) honest about what you get.

Then perhaps they shouldn't have used that word.

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58LpHBnvsI )

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.

Indeed. How can they advertise "unlimited" when it clearly is not? How have telcos not been sued for this bs?

I don't understand why you are being downvoted. You didn't say you liked that the new plans offer very low data / dollar or that you have to pay more to tether (despite the fact that we are now being charged per bucket), you simply stated (correctly) that there is no such thing as "unlimited." More companies ought to outright state the limits to their plans / services (e.g., Gmail and its exact storage amount versus Yahoo Mail and its "unlimited storage").

Whats the big deal, its not like you have flash on these things anyway. The only decent site you can get content from is Itunes. 2G of Itunes product is a lot of $. A little extra for the bandwidth is no big deal.

The big deal is the CEO of Apple stood on a stage and talked about the crazy new price structure they negotiated with ATT. Sign up whenever you wanted, cancel whenever you wanted.

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 just bought an iPad 3G last night for my in-laws for this exact purpose. They frequently spend time in their cabin which does not have an active internet connection. $15->$30 for the occasion when they needed the internet seemed like a fantastic solution for them.

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.

> 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.

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