AT&T has just announced it’s discontinuing unlimited data plans. For those watching the calendar, it’s exactly one month and one day after 3G equipped Apple iPads went on sale, aka it’s now 24 hours past when you can return the devices.
Hike up your waders the marketing double speak is thick in this press release…
AT&T*, the U.S. smartphone leader, today introduced new wireless data plans that make it more affordable for more people to enjoy the benefits of the mobile Internet.
Yes, that’s an un-ironic asterisk on the first word of the press release. It doesn’t really matter though, the deal is AT&T is slashing the unlimited plan and now offering DataPlus, providing 200 MB of data for $15/month with additional 200 MB extensions for $15/each, and DataPro, providing 2 GB of data for $25/month, with additional 1 GB extensions for $10/each. Tethering, a feature that all iPhones have been capable of for over a year, will now be allowed by AT&T for an additional $20 per month on the DataPro plan.
The iPad was sold hard with this original unlimited data plan. It was sold by Steve Jobs standing by himself on a stage talking about how revolutionary this all is. How can this business relationship continue? How did Apple end up here? I wish calculating opportunity cost was an exact science; I’d like to see a tally of what Apple is paying for the ongoing damage to one of the most enviable brands on the planet.
I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the screaming matches between AT&T and Apple.
UPDATE: As of 2:40pm CST, June 2nd, 2010 Apple’s iPad product page does not reflect these new data plans.