A Comparison of US iPhone Data Plans

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,727
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With the introduction of new iPhone data plans from AT&T, here's a look at the data plans from the three providers that natively sell the iPhone in the United States.
AT&T:

- $20/month for 300MB data with a $20 charge for each additional 300MB
- $30/month for 3GB data with a $10 charge for each additional 1GB
- $50/month for 5GB data with mobile hotspot/tethering and a $10 charge for each additional 1GB

Verizon:

- $30/month for 2GB data
- $50/month for 5GB data
- $50/month for 4GB data with mobile hotspot/tethering
- $70/month for 7GB data with mobile hotspot/tethering
- $80/month for 10GB data
- $100/month for 12GB data with mobile hotspot/tethering

Overages on all Verizon plans are $10/GB

Sprint:

- $30/month for unlimited data
Sprint offers the best deal on data, though users of the Sprint version of the iPhone 4S have reported slower data speeds than the other networks.

Between AT&T and Verizon, AT&T's $30 plan offers 50% more data than Verizon, and also offers a $20 option for light-data users.

At the $50 price point, AT&T offers 5GB of data plus tethering, whereas Verizon charges $10 more for the same package.

Article Link: A Comparison of US iPhone Data Plans
 

thisisluiss

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2011
4
0
Orlando, FL
so glad i got unlimited data with AT&T. sucks att is rising their prices one more time this will make them lose some customers just like netflix lost thousands of customers
 

baummer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2005
951
27
Southern California
Looks like you have a mistake. Sprint doesn't offer unlimited data for $30/month. The cheapest option for that is on one of their "Everything Data" plans, which start at $69.99.

EDIT: I see now where you're getting this. That price point is derived from their basic plan options that don't include data. Problem is, you can't get an iPhone on any of those plans. iPhones will only be activated to an Everything Data plan ($69.99-89.99/mo. depending on minutes) or Simply Everything ($99.99/mo.).
 
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wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
32
Carriers should be working for their customers.
1GB = $20 would be acceptable.

In all seriousness though, this is just getting more and more expensive. This is ridiculous.
 

dhechols

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2012
1
0
You forgot this one:

Every single one of the big 3 carrier's plans are giant greedy things that demand your money and beat it out of your with a bloody club.

Here's what you really want, in my opinion if you're in the USA.

1) By an unlocked iPhone from Apple.
2) Transfer your number to TMobile by signing up for the no contract plan $30 1500 Talk Text, 30MB data
3) Get the SIM card in the mail, cut down to micro SIM size.
4) Plug it in, enjoy freedom at a somewhat reasonable price.

All this said, $30/month is still pretty pricey. Especially considering that you can get fiber internet connections in quite a few places in the world for $10-$20 a month for 10Mbit up/down - 100Mbit up/down depending where you are. And of course, you are trading off data for using it over WiFi most of the time. 30 MB is enough for you to survive though if you're caught out in the boonies without google maps though.
 

eNcrypTioN

macrumors 6502
Nov 4, 2009
390
1
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Glad I was able to lock-in unlimited data with Sprint. The speeds could be a little better but I can't complain when I only pay $90 a month with taxes for my iPhone.

I'm sure Sprint won't offer unlimited data forever so people should get it before its to late.
 

Bchagey

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2011
263
2
my account reads

"Data Used Processing ...
WARNING - DATA ALLOWANCE EXCEEDED
335,300.2KB of Unlimited"


ive always had unlimited data..never over charged or anything. Does this new data plan begin today?
 

McJaffaCakes

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2012
1
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

The US carriers are rediculous. In the UK we have the option of buying the pone unlocked and sticking in a SIM from another provider.

For example using giffgaff as a cheap example for £10 per month you not only get unlimited data but unlimited texts and something like 250 minutes.

Over a 24 month period you'll save money paying full price for the phone and using giffgaff compared to the subsidised cost of a contract. If you can get a 0% credit card deal you can use that to spread the cost.

If you'd still prefer a contract they're still a lot cheaper in the UK than their US counterparts.

Living in what's called 'Rip-off Britain' it's good to see the rare times we do get a better deal.
 

maattp

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2011
19
24
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Glad I was able to lock-in unlimited data with Sprint. The speeds could be a little better but I can't complain when I only pay $90 a month with taxes for my iPhone.

I'm sure Sprint won't offer unlimited data forever so people should get it before its to late.
ONLY $90 a month? That's a complete rip off, I thought Canada was bad.
 

xSPRINTERx

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2009
167
0
Leicester
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

My god, that is so expensive. You need more carriers and more competion over there.

I know it doesn't help but we get some cracking deals in the uk.

I'm with three £35 (is that about $50) I get 5000 any network call time 5000 SMS and unlimited data with tethering
(iPhone 4s on 2 year contract).
 

Spectrum Abuser

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2011
1,377
31
The UK also has a landmass much smaller then the continental United States. But I agree, these prices are way too much even for that.
 

jffmrk

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2010
15
0
California
Verizon 300MB data plan

At the end of November both my wife and I switched to Verizon's "limited time" 300MB data plan for $20/month. We are on Wi-Fi most of the time and our usage rarely goes beyond 150MB/month.

So 2 iPhones on a family plan leaves us a $117.11/month bill.

Too bad Verizon didn't keep the 300MB plan for everyone.
 

definitive

macrumors 68000
Aug 4, 2008
1,964
709
Carriers should be working for their customers.
1GB = $20 would be acceptable.

In all seriousness though, this is just getting more and more expensive. This is ridiculous.
How is anything besides unlimited acceptable? This is 2012, not 1995 where Dial-Up used to cost ~$5/hour. Even regular broadband internet doesn't cost this much. If the cellular carriers weren't so greedy, they'd charge unlimited fees per speed, not amount of usage.
 

stevemiller

macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2008
1,724
1,154
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Suddenly I feel really good about 6gb/$30 in Canada!

The ridiculous thing in all this is my gut tells there likely aren't that many true data abusers. Since I upped my data allowance I've been listening to web radio fairly regularly, and I still don't come anywhere near my limit. By making these plans more attractive you'd think the telcoms would benefit, as people would be more willing to pay for the extra headroom, but on average not use it.

If anything by charging greedily, you'd think it'd just motivate people to push their limit just to get their "money's worth"
 

wikus

macrumors 68000
Jun 1, 2011
1,795
2
Planet earth.
Its incredible how over the years its cost the carriers LESS to supply the transfer of data, yet they demand for consumers to pay more.

I wonder how many people think data is a scarce resource....??
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,186
Carriers should be working for their customers.
1GB = $20 would be acceptable.

In all seriousness though, this is just getting more and more expensive. This is ridiculous.
Agreed. 500-1GB is enough for most users, I would guess. 2-2GB would cover nearly everyone. 300MB would consistently cover relatively few.

That last thing AT&T would want is to offer a 1 or 2GB plan with mass appeal! Better to make all those people decide between expensive 3GB overkill, or penalties and overages on the “cheap” plan. Either way, AT&T/Verizon wins and your wallet loses!
 

bwillwall

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2009
749
282
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Yay my carrier (Verizon) oficially offers the worst deal for data. I hope they follow soon
 

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,916
3,671
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bwillwall said:
Yay my carrier (Verizon) oficially offers the worst deal for data. I hope they follow soon
I fully expect VZW will follow AT&T's lead within the next 30-45 days. Cell carriers pretty much just play "follow the leader" these days as they each take turns raping the U.S. consumer and watching the money roll in.

With that said, I can't really blame the carriers for wanting to make money. They are "for profit" entities after all. And, as much as I hate paying $160 a month to VZW for service on two iPhones, I pay it faithfully every month; so they must be charging what the market will bear at least in the U.S.
 

blue22

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2010
505
18
they're all going to cost you the same in the end...

I dunno, I did a plan price comparison of AT&T/Sprint/Verizon back when the iPhone4S launched and they more or less cost the same with minor varying details. AT&T's new pricing structure doesn't really change that still.

I have Sprint, and although they do offer much more value due to their unlimited package, their network is indeed slower than the big two, so, for now, it's a trade-off in services with using them depending on what's more important to you: unlimited data access vs. need for speed.



Now, if you're willing to work with what T-Mobile offers then you can really save some money... but of course their network speed with the iPhone (any of them) is 10x worse than Sprint, running only on 2G/EDGE. *ugh* Still, worth looking into if you're on the fence (and also prefer to be on a non-contract plan).
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,766
2,267
NYC
Carriers should be working for their customers.
1GB = $20 would be acceptable.

In all seriousness though, this is just getting more and more expensive. This is ridiculous.
That's exactly why they won't do it. 1GB would be enough for most customers. 300MB is too little for most. So the next best thing is the 3GB plan. Even if you never use near that amount. If they offer a 1GB plan, very few will sign up for the 3GB.