New AT&T data plans

Last week there was certainly lots of talk about AT&T’s new data plans across the Internet. The reaction seemed to fall into two camps from what I could see: 1) heavy data users that absolutely hated the plans or 2) people who would save money and appreciated the plans.¬†After doing some comparisons, I think I fall under #2. Here is my thought process behind it.

A quick look at my data usage shows that my wife and I could easily live with the 200MB data plan. Below is my data usage:

The next is my wife’s data usage:

The closest I ever got to the max that a 200MB plan would allow is 170MB. Closest my wife got was 143MB in one month and usually averages below 100MB.

We now have three options here:

  1. My wife and I could both drop down to the 200MB plan. Our phone bill drops about $30, which results in a $360 savings over the course of a year.
  2. My wife drops down to the 200MB plan, I use the new 2GB plan with the tethering option selected (for work and traveling reasons, it would be very nice to have). Her drop to the 200MB plan saves $15 a month, plus my drop to the 2GB plan saves $5 a month for a total of $20 savings. Then with tethering for me costing $20, we break about even with what we pay now.
  3. Keep our current “unlimited” data plans.

I am leaning towards option #2 here. I am not losing anything, since I never went near the “unlimited” data plan’s max of 5GB a month. I am gaining tethering and end up paying about the same monthly bill.

iPhone controversy thoughts

I find it amusing all of the controversy regarding the recent iPhone update (disclaimer: I do not own one at this time). People bought the phone knowing it did not have third-party application support and it could not be unlocked. That doesn’t mean that when hackers figure out how to add these things that Apple has to support them. Which is what happened, Apple simply broke these hacks with the 1.1.1 update. Apple has no obligation to support these hacks.

Now I do agree that Apple should have had third-party application support with the iPhone the second it was released. As the iPhone development community has shown, the iPhone has a huge amount of untapped potential. I definitely believe in the near future Apple will have third-party application support, the key though is you will be able to purchase the applications cheaply via the iTunes Store. I doubt there will ever be a way to download the applications for free. It just makes too much sense for them not to use the iTunes Store. They do it with ringtones, music, etc…why not applications?

As for the unlocked phone controversy, Apple probably had no option except to promise AT&T they will break any unlock hacks. It is too bad, but it is the price you have to pay in the cell phone industry.

I am still planning to buy an iPhone late next year when my Verizon contract is done.