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iPad Bait and Switch — No More Unlimited Data Plan

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the nice-while-it-lasted dept.

Iphone 670

_KiTA_ writes "AT&T announced today that the iPhone will gain tethering, finally, at an extra $20 a month, but only for people on a new 2GB a month plan. They also quietly announced at the same time the real news — that the $30 Unlimited Data plan on the iPad 3G will be axed in lieu of the same data plan. Yes, this would be the same 'revolutionary data plan' that Steve Jobs was so proud of during the iPad unveiling — it lasted just a month after the 3G model was delayed to May 7. People feeling vibes of previous Apple iDevice releases are not alone. Existing accounts will be allowed to grandfather in, although Apple has removed the ability to purchase the iPad from the online store at this time, and AT&T has a history of changing its plans without warning. Finally, there is no word on what happens if you ever let your Unlimited plan lapse for a month at this time."

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Apple versus Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429746)

And when will slashdotters see that Apple is bad for the industry? Of course, someone will again come along and say that Apple does it for its customers.

They want to control everything, require you to buy Mac OSX to develop for iPad and iPhone, charge a lot more for hardware than needed and do shit things like this. Still people here say it's somehow good and that Microsoft is "bad".

Apple is the new bad guy, not Microsoft.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (4, Insightful)

mp3LM (785954) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429766)

I'm going to go out on a limb ... from just the summary it would appear that this has very little to do with actions from Apple and has to do with actions from AT&T. If we were required to pick a 'bad guy' in this situation the choice would clearly be AT&T. However, everyone knew it was just a matter of time before tiered data plans started and unlimited stopped as it just makes sense. Yeah no...I get it...free and cheap is nicer...but I'd rather have the tiered data plan then have them go out of business and have nothing.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429790)

AT&T is in no danger of going out of business offering unlimited plans. Bandwidth is measured in throughput, not transfer.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429880)

They are in danger of becoming dumb, fat, pipes and then collapsing into Bertrand [wikipedia.org] . Artificially restricting service to produce multiple levels is just the first step in a whole big plan to can-opener themselves back into a more powerful spot in the value chain for mobile.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429792)

Of course, had Apple not produced a locked down, proprietary iPhone, we would have been tethering all along, and it would be easy to assign blame to AT&T. From where I sit, Apple is helping AT&T, and while they may not be the only company to do so, it is certainly not the case that Apple is completely innocent here.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429862)

How is this insightful? is this Fox News? AT&T controls the network, Apple does not. Why would Apple care if you tether the iPhone? Apple wants you to use the iPhone, period.

By your failed logic, Apple would disallow tethering outside of the USA, which of course is not the case. This is simply AT&T dictating the use of their network.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429904)

Do you own an Iphone?

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429938)

AT&T and Apple are equally complicit... they are a symbiotic partnership whose objective is to make money hand over fist. They may as well be two departments of the same company at this point-- the hardware division and the services division.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Sepultura (150245) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429944)

But it is easy to assign blame to AT&T. In the rest of the world we have tethering, and always have. We also have competition. Up here in Canada pretty much every cell carrier (at least all that carry smart phones) sell the iPhone, and you can tether. When my wife bought her new iPhone from Telus tethering was one of the promotional points they used to sell it to her. Not only that, but a telus rep helped her to figure out how to set up a VOIP system at home (through another company) with a "digital receptionist" feature that allows her to call home for free from anywhere in Canada and then connect over VOIP to anywhere in the world at the VOIP rate. I thought that was pretty decent.

So it's not exactly fair to say it's Apple's fault. What would be fair would be to ask why in the hell they're sticking with AT&T in the first place - it's like Randell Stephenson has some compromising pictures of Jobs with a goat. Or worse yet, Woz.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430042)

Of course, had Apple not produced a locked down, proprietary iPhone, we would have been tethering all along, and it would be easy to assign blame to AT&T. From where I sit, Apple is helping AT&T

They're not just helping AT&T, they're in a symbiotic relationship.
Full disclosure, I own an iPhone.

Apple: "Customer, dear customer, you want tethering? Well, it's in the App Store from a company called Null River."
AT&T: "No it's not."
Average iPhone Customers: "What's tethering?"
Apple: "We pulled the app for review, but will bring it back shortly."
AT&T: "No you won't"
Customers: "Want tethering even MORE now!"
Apple: "If you buy the new iPhone 3Gs you can now get tethering!"
AT&T: "No you can't."
Apple: "If you buy the new iPhone 3Gs [in a country other than USA] you can now get tethering!"
Customers: "Tethering! *frothing* Tethering!"
Apple: "We worked out a remarkable deal with AT&T, and now you can tether! Buy an iPhone 4G today!"
Customers: "Tethering! See, I knew tethering would happen if I just bought enough iPhones!"
AT&T: "Sure, it's true, you can tether, but at a rate that it will be useless for laptops. And pay more for the reduced network bandwidth losers! Ahahahahaha!"
Apple: "Look at all these iPhone moneys! We can haz cheeseburger now."
Null River: "Um, what the hell happened?"

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430048)

You do realize tethering for the iPhone is available outside the US, and has been for a long time?

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32430112)

it's been available in the us, via jailbreaking

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429860)

Yeah no...I get it...free and cheap is nicer...but I'd rather have the tiered data plan then have them go out of business and have nothing.

What makes you think that was the choice? Is AT&T on the verge of bankruptcy and I haven't heard?

I'm a bit tired of people implying that we should sympathize with these companies by saying, "But they had to screw our customers and engage in shady and unscrupulous behavior! The only other option is to give everything away for free, and they'd go out of business!" Meanwhile these companies are raking in billions of dollars in profit.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430052)

I'm not sure that changing their pricing model quite qualifies as "unscrupulous." The decision to change their rate structure probably has more to do with long term planning and getting in on some of the action (in terms of people making tons of cash selling big media files over their networks to portable devices and them not seeing a dime from that) than anything else. If they are getting effectively screwed now (by all the value being created by their networks which they can't capture) imagine what it will be like with 4G and beyond when people really do start streaming large amounts of rich media.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (3, Insightful)

Lythrdskynrd (1823332) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429920)

I'm going to go out on a limb ... from just the summary it would appear that this has very little to do with actions from Apple and has to do with actions from AT&T. If we were required to pick a 'bad guy' in this situation the choice would clearly be AT&T. However, everyone knew it was just a matter of time before tiered data plans started and unlimited stopped as it just makes sense. Yeah no...I get it...free and cheap is nicer...but I'd rather have the tiered data plan then have them go out of business and have nothing.

Really? Have you read none of the articles on what the markup is for a Gigabyte of data bandwidth; on a text message? Please. Nobody is going to see AT&T go out of business. I hope they get their arses handed to them in a class action suit.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430000)

Everyone knew unlimited data would be cut?

Oh, right... You're talking of the US here. Never mind.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430038)

Going out of business?! Don't make me laugh. AT&T tripled their annual profit between 2005 to 2008, from $4 billion to $12 billion, all the while providing substandard service. Their 3G coverage is pathetic, and their substandard network was caused by purposeful underinvestment by management. It *doesn't* make sense for unlimited to stop, as HSPA+ uses the spectrum more efficiently than standard 3G, and AT&T should be beefing up the backhaul that they've been skimping on for the last 5 years.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429782)

This has nothing to do with Apple, AT&T are doing this. I doubt Apple knew anything about this.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429822)

Can you blame AT&T, if I were losing money on a product..what do I do..I cut that product! or charge more. Simple mathematics, people need to learn that. Not to mention AT&T probably knew full well what the costs of this would be, and maybe there were some promises from apple behind the scenes and they didn't hold up their part of the bargain...we don't really know. You are an idiot if you don't think Apple knew about this before hand..I work at another large wireless provider, and all parties know changes like this before they come into effect, there are many changes that come into play to support moves like this.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430076)

AT&T isn't losing money on their plans. They save a lot of it by not investing in the infrastructure necessary to provide the service they promise to the customers. It also doesn't make any sense for them to lower the price for most people while cutting the cap by less. I've got an unlimited data plan with them and I'm averaging somewhere around 250mb so far on my data plan. I'd have to increase my consumption quite a bit to come anywhere near running out of space on this possible new plan.

And quite a few casual users are in the same boat. Not that it makes it right if they go through with it, but most people will likely end up spending less money on their data plan than they do now. Gaining tethering would be worth it for quite a few of them. But really what needs to happen is that the FCC needs to step in and tell companies that they can't call it unlimited if you can't tether and that you can't charge people for bandwidth and then tell them how they can use it.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (5, Interesting)

cybereal (621599) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429910)

Indeed. However it's worth noting that almost all of this information is based on reinterpreted rumor. I wouldn't be surprised to see a clarification within the next week or so that changes some of these details for the iPad.

iPhone though... well sure. This was a long time coming. I consider myself a moderate data user on 3G (lots of data but no streaming video/audio) and my usage has peaked at 540mb in a month, but usually sits around 300mb. I do all my email, push from work as well, so it's not as though I'm really a light user in disguise. Even better, with the $15 option I can cut my bill because my wife peaks at about 100mb a month usually sitting at about 50mb as she is home most of the time, well in range of Wi-Fi.

In the end I'll save $20 cutting down plan costs, just enough to enable tethering if I ever need it... though so far, I've never needed such a feature (Wi-Fi is everywhere around here and I don't travel.)

I do hope there is a clarification on iPad 3G. I can imagine Stevie's inbox is packed with "WTF" letters right now. Given the way the data plans were announced alongside the iPad, I would be surprised if Apple is happy about this change. In fact, one could construe this as an act by AT&T against Apple, supporting the rumors that Apple is going to produce iPhones for competing networks.

Exciting times!

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

pmarini (989354) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429998)

isn't the whole point of tethering to allow other devices, possibly laptops or other, that will actually use full-fledged websites with flash video and whatnot, therefore increasing the amount of data transfer, which is now being much limited with the new plan?? what were they thinking??

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430080)

And thus the $20 extra charge for tethering. There was no need to cut the $30/unlimited plan just to introduce tethering. Anyone giving this even the slightest thought knew that AT&T was going to charge a huge surcharge to enable tethering.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32430084)

This has nothing to do with Apple, AT&T are doing this.

If this truly had nothing to do with Apple, iPhone and iPad users could jump ship to T-mobile.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Insightful)

FPCat (646737) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429784)

I think you've confused Apple and AT&T. This is an obvious sign that the new iPhone won't be AT&T exclusive. AT&T is trying to get a last minuet surge by allowing people that sign up by June 7th to get the old rates. When the new phone is announced AT&T's iPhone business will take a major hit

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429912)

Don't rush your last minuets [wikipedia.org] . Slow down and enjoy the waltz.

Charge more then is needed? (-1, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429832)

What are you? A communist? Charge more then is needed? WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO DETERMINE WHAT SOMEONE ELSE CHARGES FOR A NON-ESSENTIAL ITEM.

God if this isn't the ultimate example of entitlement. Any company is required to sell a product to me at the absolute minimum or else they stink.

If Apple charged an infinite amount of money for an iPhone that would be entirely their business. They can charge any mark-up they can dream up (and sometimes they do) and that is the way things work in socialist/capitalist markets.

Or do you think a gold ring should be the price of gold? Fat chance. That I should sell you a drink based on the price of the ingredients? No more 6 euro coca-cola then. Oh but no. For most normal people non-essential products and services can be any price that the customer is willing to pay. And if the customer isn't? Then though luck for the seller, he will be left with unsold stock.

Apple should be required to sells its product at cost when you sell yourself at cost. Say the value of your brain. Then with your profit and a 699 dollar, you can buy an iPad. (For those doing the math, yes I am saying that he would have to pay people to sell himself).

If you can't afford the iPhone, then DON'T FUCKING BUY IT.

Oh and for even better proof the guy is a moron. Go ahead, what environment is needed for windows development? Go ahead, do IE development on a Mac or Linux. No, evil MS forces me to buy a windows license to do IE development. How mean!

Capitalist/Socialist (1)

Rukie (930506) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430154)

Dear SmallFurryCreature, In a capitalist society commodities are to be sold at lower prices due to competition. Although Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile may be 'competitors' they are rather an oligopoly. There is no true competition. In a capitalist society monopolies and oligopolies are usually the things people hate most. So yes, your right, they can charge whatever they want. If they were the only person to offer this service (data) because of a new technology, let them earn their money. But no, cellular data has been around for quite a while, and the oligopoly is just raking in the cash at every opportunity. Text messaging prices have INCREASED despite the fact that text messages cause NO effect on the network. So before you say 'this is the way things work in a socialist/capitalist market' consider the fact that its actually not a capitalist situation because there is no true competition. Regards, Rukie Dear AT&T, I hate you. Regards, Your Customer.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429922)

And when will slashdotters see that Apple is bad for the industry?

Because AT&T changed their data plans?

They want to control everything, require you to buy Mac OSX to develop for iPad and iPhone, charge a lot more for hardware than needed and do shit things like this.

How utterly controlling of Apple to let AT&T do something like this! Wait...

Apple is the new bad guy, not Microsoft.

Call me when Apple engages in even a tenth the shenanigans that MS has.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429936)

Nice troll - how do the points in your post have anything to do with TFA? AT&T is the culprit here.

Apple is the new bad guy, not Microsoft.

You're correct in that Microsoft can never be the "new bad guy" as they're the oldest bad guy on the block. Followed by Sony. And which of the two is worse will probably result in Sony being the winner at this point. (Since we're OT anyways, might as well bring in both "bad guys") And what do both these companies have in common? Their best days are behind them from the looks of things and both are screwing their customers over, damaging their reputations in the process. Finding something good about either one is virtually impossible.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429978)

Please inform Supreme Commander Jobs that we have found another human immune to the Reality Distortion Field. He will be dealt with the usual way.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1, Insightful)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430012)

They want to control everything, require you to buy Mac OSX to develop for iPad and iPhone

Yeah, the bastards. Imagine i'd have to buy Windows to develop for the Windows Phone 7 platform. Or that i'd have to buy a PlayStation3 to play God Of War. No, Apple is clearly the bad guy here, how dare they impose such system requirements on us.

charge a lot more for hardware than needed and do shit things like this.

Yes, their profits are far higher than software companies. No wonder Microsoft still operates from Ballmer's basement, they practically *give* Windows and Office away.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

TerribleNews (1195393) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430016)

The problem isn't Apple (or AT&T). Steve Jobs didn't hold a gun to anyone's head and force them to buy anything. The problem is with braindead consumers who will buy anything because they are told. You really can't blame the company for wanting to take advantage of that kind of behaviour. This is not to say that there isn't something wrong with the way Apple works. And telcos are about the worst companies in the universe next to oil companies. But to blame them for making a shitty product that sells is unfair: the problem is with self-destructive consumer behaviour that allows those companies to continue on doing what they're doing.

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430040)

Slashdotters have seen this for a long time. Unfortunately, many who complain about Apple get modded as troll and face the same old "if you don't like it, don't buy it" nonsense which completely ignores the potential damage that can result in the PC and Mobile device markets at large. It's rather like the game DRM discussions where people say don't buy blizzard or whatever game maker is installing ridiculous measures that manage to get cracked before it hits the store shelves. It's not about the publisher or manufacturer specifically, but rather it is about potential industry trends that we would like to see stopped before it catches on. And while it is true that the "don't buy it" thing sends a sort of message to people who are doing it or are interested in doing it, nothing says it better than massive complaints and comments directly from users here and later elsewhere and directly to the sellers which is what I, personally, advocate. After all, just not buying it means "someone is pirating it!"

Re:Apple versus Microsoft (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430104)

What's Microsoft got to do with it? You can have more than one bad guy, you know. But AT&T is, in my experience, just plain evil, although maybe not as evil as Sony (what other company has deliberately planted malware on its paying customers' PCs?).

This is par for the course for AT&T, who have a long sorry history of screwing over their paying customers; I was once one when they took over Cingular and my bill started going through the roof.

AFAIC almost all corporations are bad guys. Some are just worse than others. I'm no Apple fan and don't even have an iPod, but I don't think you can blame this one on Apple.

Who is evil here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429754)

The tone is almost anti-Apple, but the content of TFS seems to be more anti-AT&T?

Re:Who is evil here? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429848)

off topic, but this is funny... This chick is totally drunk, what a loser. VERY NSFW by the way lol. http://cam4.com/Titties4u [cam4.com] I just had to tell *someone* anonymously :) Sorry...

Re:Who is evil here? (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430098)

Since evil is available in infinite supply, I'd say they're both evil as well as MS and Google while we're at it. Since I've still got evil to spare, I think that the US government is also evil for allowing our money to subsidized Israeli war crimes.

But seriously, this is /. either it's anti-Apple or pro-Apple we don't allow them moderates in here.

Hmmm (4, Insightful)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429756)

Congrats to the early adopters, I guess. Apparently, these two companies are making so much money that they can just do whatever they want now without repercussion.

Re:Hmmm (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429894)

Yes, how terrible that they are changing the terms that they are offering to new customers. Vile. Just vile.

I guess it's a bit of a bummer for the people that paid extra for the 3G with the idea that they might activate it only now and then, but I'm not sure they should have expected the terms to last forever (but expecting the terms to last for more than a month probably isn't crazy).

This is crazy, but not surprising. (2, Insightful)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429770)

AT&T knows that it will lose its shirt selling unlimited dataplans in the long run, particularly on a device like the iPad which will probably be even worse for them in terms of bandwidth consumption than the iPhone. Still sucks though, and still has that unsavory characteristic of a bait-and-switch. Well folks, it looks like AT&T decided to show up for the "get rich quick off the iPad party" after all. He makes a foul guest.

Re:This is crazy, but not surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429850)

I'm getting really sick of the schizophrenia that the carriers exhibit over data.

They want you to use nothing. Just let the device sit. But they want to advertise like they're offering people the world.

If I owned an iPad, I'd use several gigs a month. Likely between 7 & 10 gigs.

I'm willing to pay a $1/gig. Till then I'm not doing wireless broadband.

Maybe this whole wireless thing is untenable. We've already fucked up the honeybees. By the time we get enough infrastructure to give 300 million people fast, cheap, wireless access, and everyone's gone wireless , what other unforeseen bad shit will result?

Re:This is crazy, but not surprising. (5, Insightful)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429924)

It's not untenable, we're just in a transition phase. At some point wireless networks will have capacity that far exceeds demand, and the carriers will collapse into a price war (Bertrand Competition [wikipedia.org] ) which will result in what we would now probably consider a good data-plan becoming virtually free at some point. This is the same thing that happened to phone companies with local and then long distance service, as well as a host of other industries over time. Sucks for AT&T, and Verizon though (Sprint probably wont make it). Sure, they're making stupid amounts of cash (billions and billions of profit per quarter) but they know where this road goes and they are trying really hard to change course to keep from getting right back to where they all started -- in the POTS business of the future.

Wrong (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430128)

Bertrand Competition assumes no colluding or price fixing, intelligent consumers, no lock-in, and no long term contracts.

The connection providers will play games with consumers forever.

Luxury items (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429772)

Luxury prices. You want it, you get it, now shut up. I'll keep my PC, thankyouverymuch.

Why the Tech industry sucks. (5, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429788)

Outside of tech and telecom, are there any industries that can get away with "reserving the right" to "change the terms of this agreement without notice" or to sell products without "any implied fitness for merchantability or usefulness for any purpose"? Car companies and real estate deals could never operate with this kind of crap -- people just wouldn't stand for it.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429820)

I once read the back of a Greyhound ticket, and I am pretty sure it said something to the effect of "change the terms of this agreement without notice." Now, I would not say it is really a comparison, since they would be hard pressed to charge people extra for a ticket they already purchased or to pull other "bait and switch" schemes, but that sort of legalese is not really unique to tech companies.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429876)

I've never had to deal with it outside of tech and telecom. I've been royally, and probably illegally screwed before by ISPs, including one which changed the terms of my contract, including removing the part that said terms couldn't be changed except with 30-day notice, then tried to charge me with "hacking" for accessing a shell account my contract gave me the right to access.

Sure, credit card companies adjust rates, but that is known (or should be) going into the deal... and now there is a law against doing it without notice. Tech and telecom carriers seem to do it all the damned time and get away with it.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429932)

nor is it enforceable.

Lawyers can write what they want, 90% of it is worthless and means nothing. They just hope that you are not smart enough to understand that.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430134)

nor is it enforceable.

Lawyers can write what they want, 90% of it is worthless and means nothing. They just hope that you are not smart enough to understand that.

Bear in mind that most of the people who say the above are not lawyers.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (1)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429866)

I fail to see why contract issues would matter in this case. The 3G data plan is not on a contract. That was kinda the whole point, unlimited data just on the months you need it.

This is of course partially Apple's fault as well as AT&T, because Apple tied the iWhatevers to AT&T. Its about time that Apple gets hit with the same wonderful consideration that normal people receive every day when they are locked into a particular vendor.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429942)

Yup... If AT&T were being honest they would also announce that all incoming SMS messages were now free once more, like it was.

but they dont want to let go of that money fountain either...

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429868)

Outrage Overload operates in their favour. By the time anyone can actually get an action into court, they've changed their terms another half dozen times, and you're arguing over ancient history. Really, isn't life short enough already?

Credit card companies, airlines,... (4, Interesting)

forand (530402) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429954)

Credit card companies and airlines do these things quite often. Ever get a notice in the mail that your APR on your credit card went up? They just changed the contract. Ever had a flight canceled but be charged to reschedule? They changed the contract on you. All because they reserved the right in the original contract to do so. I am baffled, however, how any such contract can be considered legal and binding, it clearly favors one party to a ludicrous degree and provides no method for a resolution of changes for BOTH parties (one side dictates all the terms).

Re:Credit card companies, airlines,... (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430138)

I am baffled, however, how any such contract can be considered legal and binding

Because the companies pushing these contracts have lots of lawyers and lobbyists, and you do not.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (5, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429988)

You got +5 Interesting, but are entirely off topic. AT&T are changing the plans they offer, existing customers don't lose their current plans.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (2, Informative)

boaworm (180781) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430064)

How about the airline industry? They can decide to do a lot of stuff on-the-fly. Like cancel your flight. Or have you pre-pay for a specific seat and when you board they tell you that the airplane has a different layout and that you will end up sitting somewhere else.

Or change how much luggage you can bring on board. Or what can be in that luggage. I'm very sure you cannot claim that it was allowed to bring a bottle of something on board at the time I purchased my ticket, so I want to bring it on board now.

Hell, they can even fly you to an alternate airport and put you on a 6 hour bus ride.

And you mention real-estate. The world is changing, you bought something with an ocean view. But all of a sudden a group of new houses are built.

Or hotels. You booked a room, but when you arrive they only have a twin instead of a double.

I'm sure we can find the same examples in restaurants.

Changing ToS is by no means isolated to telecom.

Re:Why the Tech industry sucks. (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430148)

Re: airlines -- there are legitimate changes in logistics due to mechanical failure, weather pattern changes, volcanoes, whatever else have you, that can affect what planes or crew are available, or whether or not the flight can safely take off.

I'm sure there are examples in other industries of this sort of thing happening from time-to-time, but it just seems to me to be endemic in tech and telecom. Look at software for instance -- "pay s $300 for the right to use what's on this plastic disk, but not ownership, and btw -- we're not going to promise that what's on the plastic disk does anything, anyway." That's just dicked up.

And the justification starts... (4, Funny)

calderra (1034658) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429794)

This isn't bait and switch- this is clearly STEVE JOBS' ORIGINAL VISION! Only now has technology caught up to his masterful insight, such that the product and the plans he always envisioned can be offered together!

Re:And the justification starts... (5, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429898)

Man I need to get some sleep, for a moment I swore you were talking about George Lucas.

Re:And the justification starts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32430092)

Indeed. All hail the hypno-Steve and his majic

Still Unlimited! (5, Funny)

clinko (232501) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429806)

2gigs times 0k/sec

At this rate we all have an unlimited plan!

Complain Much? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429808)

I agree that losing the unlimited plan isn't great, and that the new plans should be set higher than 200MB and 2GB per month.

Other than that you are off base. You can purchase the iPad online at Apple's website. How would you like AT&T to notify you of changing plans? They are changing the plans with a week's notice, if you don't like the new plan you don't have to switch to it. Simple. The new 200MB plan would probably work for most people and save them money since they have wifi in their home and work. Comparing it to the price drop of the original iPhone is ridiculous.

I'm guessing you don't have an iPad, but just want to complain.

Re:Complain Much? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430126)

I thought so too, we talked about this last night so I checked my data usage on my iPhone (I'm in urban Alaska so I don't do near as much highway iPhone as I did a year ago), I figured I'd easily break 2GB a month. 31.6MB this month and 1.8GB total since the last OS patch reset my stats on February 2 2010.

So yea I'll save month on this, actually a good thing.

Doesn't anyone remember their slogan? (5, Funny)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429810)

"We're not happy until you are not happy"

Re:Doesn't anyone remember their slogan? (2, Informative)

tresstatus (260408) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429864)

i thought that was reel big fish's slogan.....

Apple Corporate would have known... (1)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429818)

I spent a decade working with and for Apple, and the contract they'd have with the carriers would be so complex that sadly Apple would have been quite well aware of the distinct possibility these shenanigans might go on.

The way Apple's gone over the last couple of years has saddened me to the point of throwing in the towel, and I'm back in university now figuring out how to do something else.

I miss being directly involved with Apple, but I just can't trust Corporate anymore.

Cry for me, not. (0, Troll)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429830)

Sorry but if you can grandfather in then where's the beef? Really, are you being forced into buying these devices, in some cases for an obnoxious amount of money, and then forced into buying full blown access plans?

Oh you are, I forgot, the price of being cool. Really for whom do you think the iPad was made, you? Try again. Try the publishers and providers. I watch as friends blow fifty to over a hundred a month on their phones/devices for access and start to get new respect for marketers.

If you have a business need then fine, get them to pay for it. But wants cost money. Either put up or shut up. Apple has convinced far too many that to be cool they have to have X and Y.

Not Just The iPad/iPhone - It's All Smartphones (5, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429836)

At first like the submitter I thought this was only for the iPhone and iPad, but after checking the press release from AT&T [att.com] it turns out it's for all Smartphones. So these are the new data plans for the iPhone, the iPad, the Nexus One (and all other Android phones), the N900 - everything.

AT&T claims that this will bring down bills for the average user, and I don't doubt this is true. However the better the Smartphone the easier it is to burn through data, so this seems to be a tactical strike against all high-end Smartphone users, and a blatant attempt to drive away iPad users (2GB for an entire month of browsing on a 10" device, really?). And this is timed to coincide with the launch of the next-gen iPhone, which is widely beleived to have a front-facing camera for video conferencing, which would burn through additional data. I also don't know how you're going to get away with significant video streaming on 2GB a month, but perhaps that's the idea?

Progress, it seems, is getting less for more. Ultimately the 5GB of data that actually came with an "unlimited" plan is now $25 + $30 in overages. It continues to amaze me just how far we've come since 2008...

Re:Not Just The iPad/iPhone - It's All Smartphones (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32429956)

Well the N900 probably isn't a problem because you're stuck on 2G. I certainly hope T-mo doesn't follow suit. Since the 1.2 update last Wednesday I've already used 600MB on my N900 and I haven't even been using my phone that much.

N900 (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430054)

Umm, my N900 does 3G fine. There is an option in your setting that'll switch down to "2.5" from 3G, which saves your battery if your not using telco data, like because your on pre-paid while traveling and/or use wifi all the time.

Re:Not Just The iPad/iPhone - It's All Smartphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32430036)

AT&T claims that this will bring down bills for the average user, and I don't doubt this is true.

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... heheheheheheh. HHAHAHAHAHA... *ow my sides*

More likely: any reduced costs will result in higher profits.

Re:Not Just The iPad/iPhone - It's All Smartphones (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430050)

AT&T is doing what they can to limit data traffic until they have a chance to increase their core network bandwidth. It's either this or collapse.

The blame probably doesn't lie with AT&T though, the telecom manufacturers can't deliver at full capacity because there is a shortage of components for the whole business. Noone can deliver. Due to the credit crisis when the component manufacturers stood with empty order books and all but shut down. Now they (component manufacturers) are having trouble / are unwilling or are unable to increase their manufacturing volumes.
My guess is that whoever gave the manufacturers loans to survive at all takes most of the profits they make now and they are unable to invest in extra production capacity.

I know we all want to use our new toys, but there is a big shift in data traffic through the networks now and it'll take a while for the telecom operators to be able to catch up.

Re:Not Just The iPad/iPhone - It's All Smartphones (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430144)

AT&T is doing what they can to limit data traffic until they have a chance to increase [...snip...] the profits they make now [...snip...]

Fixed that for you. It is a money grab and the proverbial "get them hooked, then change the drug". Don't worry, they will start offering unlimited plans again, for $50 more, in about a year or so.

Re:Not Just The iPad/iPhone - It's All Smartphones (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32430102)

An obvious result.

No doubt the carriers _are_ exploiting the situation to make bank on overage changes, but the underlying issue is the same as it always has been: the 2G and 3G (hell, even 4G if what we're hearing about the real-life performance) networks simply don't and can't support the kind of massive bandwidth demands that any significant number of smartphone, tablet and tethered PC-users will put on a cell.

It's simple math. The limited bandwidth to/from the tower is shared by all the handsets in the vicinity..

Re:Not Just The iPad/iPhone - It's All Smartphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32430114)

At first like the submitter I thought this was only for the iPhone and iPad, but after checking the press release from AT&T [att.com] it turns out it's for all Smartphones

Where do you get that? The only mention of the old unlimited plan in that press release is this line:

For new iPad customers, the $25 per month 2 GB plan will replace the existing $29.99 unlimited plan.

Which seems to imply that it's just for new iPad customers.

And just before the new iPhone ships too (3, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429842)

well, this will put a crimp in whether to purchase that snazzy new iPhone purportedly coming out this month. Nice, AT&T. First we find out that yes, AT&T has a 5 year exclusive deal, so yes, you will only be able to buy the new iPhone on AT&T's crappy network because you'll be there for 2 years. But now with the 2GB cap (tethered only? Or do you have the option of the original unlimited without it? The TFA doesn't say) it all of a sudden becomes hmmmm, should I? Maybe a Droid isn't so bad after all despite its shortcomings in usability.

The long and the short of this one is: guess I won't jump to the phone I really wanted if there is no unlimited plan, as I'm not interested in getting walloped with that nice $1/MB or whatever they're charging as overrage fees.

Re:And just before the new iPhone ships too (1)

cwingrav (8705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429926)

If you are going to use over 2GB a month, then you probably aren't going to be a good customer for them. What the heck are you doing that requires that? So, please go someplace else. :/

The lack of this phone on other networks really is a bad thing as the data plans are synonymous with the phone itself. I am curious what they are going to do for those over 2GB as there should be something for them!?!

Re:And just before the new iPhone ships too (1)

cwingrav (8705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429966)

Ok, just read its $25 for 2GB a month and additional 1 GB for $10 a month. So, it will probably hit the high end user quite a bit but doesn't seem too unreasonable.

Re:And just before the new iPhone ships too (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430082)

Huh?

I use Pandora when I'm in my car, at the gym, or running, and quite a bit of mobile web. I use a good 4-5GB every month. That's WITHOUT using any YouTube or Skype or SlingBox or anything bandwidth-hungry like that.

If AT&T has a problem with that, they can give me my $60/mo back.

Re:And just before the new iPhone ships too (1)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429982)

Maybe a Droid isn't so bad after all despite its shortcomings in usability.

Wait, what?

Apple is like a new girlfriend... (2, Informative)

PmanAce (1679902) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429856)

...it's all fun and stuff in the beginning until you hit reality. Next.

Shame (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429870)

Should've got an Android. They're a lot more helpful. They clean your house... and stuff.

Expected (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429890)

Now they're just laughing at us.
I wonder if these changes were due to unexpected demand, and them knowing there's a larger amount of people who'll be happy to be gouged.

Slashdot ranting a bit here... (5, Insightful)

cwingrav (8705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429892)

So, they are producing two new dataplans that are cheaper then the current that they say cover 98% of their use base. To me, I think this means I'm going to at least save $5 a month here. Also, tethering is FINALLY announced! I'm excited with this news! I would like unlimited tethering but I work with technology and realize not all things are feasible as continued unlimited plans, especially with tethering, would destroy an already slammed network.

Slashdot seems to be missing reality here and the compromise that AT&T is making with their network. Ok, hit me with all your complaints about how evil something or other is.

Re:Slashdot ranting a bit here... (2, Interesting)

cwingrav (8705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430124)

Just checked wife's data usage since she uses her phone constantly. She used 145MBs last month which was the highest since she's had the phone. So, we're going to save $15 a month and not subsidizing the high data users. Also, I'm going to get a phone as I can now tether. I think a lot of people are getting mad before exploring this.

BTW. Older plans are grandfathered in and according to AT&T are not going to be dropped even when you upgrade to a new phone.

Bad info in summary? (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429908)

Apple has removed the ability to purchase the iPad from the online store at this time...

WTF? I just checked the Apple Store and you CAN buy iPads online.

ugh (0, Troll)

Stray1 (862245) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429946)

Seriously Apple WTF?

APPL (2, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429960)

Let me do everybody a favor:

apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple apple

Ok, now that that's out of our system, can we talk about something else for once?

Re:APPL (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430024)

Sometimes an apple is just an apple.

Google FTW. (4, Insightful)

headhot (137860) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429962)

I heart my Nexus 1. Not being tied to a carrier.

Shell out the bucks out front. You'll save it in the long run.

Amusing (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429980)

Same in the UK. "Unlimited" means whatever the company wants it to mean. It'd just take one successful lawsuit on behalf of consumers to stop this fraudulent practice, but the watchdog bodies (Ofcom in the uk) have no teeth, because they're just there to give the illusion of fairness between massive multinationals and consumers.

Phone companies have gone from being clueless about data (stupid prices (both high and low), outages which last weeks) to realising that it's another revenue stream. There's now a massive difference between what you'd likely to want to do on wifi vs 3g. I tend to top up my RSS feed at home/in places with wifi, and read offline, and turn of 3g in case it tries to pull more data down. This is retarded - effectively carrying around an expensive offline device!

Don't worry (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#32429990)

I'm sure they'll work out some deal where everything you buy on your crippled tablet includes in the price the bandwidth used to download it. This price hike and bandwidth cap is just preliminary step to stick it to those freeloaders who are downloading free content, or selling you things outside of iTunes, which in both cases deprive Apple and AT&T of their rightful revenue.

I love the "Apple Experince" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32430022)

Of not being able to sit down the morning after.

Screw AT&T (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430026)

I mean it. Screw them. Let's just take it over and give all their electrons away. We'll make it part of the U.S. Postal Service, and completely deny them and their shareholders of any more extortion money from us anymore. How's that for "bait and switch" AT&T? Citizens Not Shareholders: Screw Corporate Scum - eat the rich, soylent green is people. Get a sponge BP, its enema time.

Rethinking Possible - read the fine print (4, Informative)

tananda (85834) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430030)

OK guys, calm down.

If you already have an iPad, you can get grandfathered in, and AT&T /can not/ legally change your plan once you're on it (read your terms and conditions, it's in there. slamming and cramming = bad). Grandfathered plans /will not/ be removed unless the feature actually gets removed from your account.. and you (or someone with access to your account.. don't give out your SSN and/or passcode) are the only one who can authorize that.. (and if it gets removed by accident and it WASN'T authorized.. well.. it /can/ be added back.. you just need to get a manager to override it).

Furthermore.. iPhone tethering has always been available.. it's called a jailbreak. It's not hard. Just google "spirit jailbreak" and in less than 10 minutes you'll have Cydia and can download the tethering app of your choice, whether AT&T likes it or not. Poof, iPhone tethering with unlimited data, no need to wait for Apple to release OS4 to the iPhone and then get put on a 2gb plan for the iPhone as well -- keep your iphone unlimited data forever if you want. 3

Steve Jobs, Apple, AT&T are all crooks and lia (0, Troll)

open-sources-is-$$$$ (993425) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430120)

Steve Jobs and his inner circle at Apple must have known this all along. I can see Steve Jobs conspiring with AT&T, something like this, with Steve Jobs doing all the talking: As soon as the iPad proves itself, as soon as we sell two million ipads, we can jack the prices up and suck some more money out of the bastards. Trust me fellows, I have been doing it like forever at the Apple iTunes Store. Can't wait for the Android and Microsoft tablets to hit the market, open system, true open systems, to be available at all carriers. this Apple monopoly needs to stop right now! DOJ, FCC, FTC please investigate AT&T and especially Apple !!!

The short story. (1)

MikeD83 (529104) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430130)

You want to tether with your iPhone? You must pay a tethering fee of $20. BTW, you need to change plans to a limited data plan; 2GB of data per month for $25 per month. If you go over your limit the cost is $10 per 1 GB.

AT&T is most likely losing iPhone exclusivity. (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 3 years ago | (#32430132)

...so there's no more carrot for them to keep chasing. If Apple's going to be selling iPhones through Verizon, and possibly even Sprint, then what's AT&T's reason for keeping this sweetheart data plan?

This is why ATT ^ the early exit fee on contracts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32430150)

This is disappointing, and using 2G of data on an iPad in a month is easy. I tried the 250MB plan, and hit that limit in 3 days. With a phone 2GB should be enough, because you generally don't surf the big sites, you use the lighter mobile sites. On the iPad you surf the full sites, and end up downloading more graphics etc.... I like my iPhone, but the Sprint 4G phone looks really attractive.

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