Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Why So Complicated?

So we've finally gotten some concrete info on what the monthly bill for an iPhone 3G will look like. After going a little insane and making the plans for the original iPhone pretty easy to understand and including things like a limited number of SMS messages per month, AT&T has reverted to it's giant corporation self and decided to screw iPhone 3G users, as well as confuse them. AppleInsider has the whole sordid tale
All of AT&T's individual iPhone 3G calling plans have risen $10 when compared to those offered alongside the original iPhone. That's because AT&T is now charging $30 for the bundled unlimited data plans rather than $20, as it expects subscribers to increase their internet usage and throughput as a result of the new iPhone's 3G chip, which downloads about twice as fast as the EDGE chip in the original iPhone.

At the same time, however, AT&T has obnoxiously reduced the number of standard SMS messages included with each plan from 200 to zero. To get those 200 text messages back, subscribers will have to pay $5.00 more per month. As such, we've factored that added fee, along with the additional $10 data charge into our chart (below). The chart compares the original iPhone plans offered by AT&T to the new iPhone 3G plans with the added costs required to maintain basic text message capabilities and unlimited data downloads. All iPhone monthly plans MUST include the $30 data plan.
Now, in all fairness AT&T isn't charging more for a 3G data plan for the iPhone than they are for any other 3G capable mobile phone. But the fact that they do charge for more 3G is, well, slimy. Just like all big corporations they are charging this premium for their services because they can and they know people will pay it. 

The problem arises when someone in an area that AT&T doesn't cover with their 3G network buys an iPhone 3G they still have to pay the premium, even though they may never get 3G speeds. 

And what is up with dropping SMS messages from the data plan? Oh, I get it... just more slimy behavior. Why not just come up with 3 or 4 or 6 plans that are easy to understand and offer those instead of this ridiculous nickel and diming crap? 

We need some common sense regulation on these giant corporate behemoths to protect the consumer from crap like this. 

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