Drop to $15 plan? Need for dramatically more data in the future?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jtara, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. jtara macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #1
    So, I reviewed my data usage for my iPhone 3G. My peak month I used 240MB, and it was the only month above 200MB. More typically, though, I use 50 to 150MB. So, it may make sense for me to drop down to the new $15 plan. I can always go up to the $25/2GB plan and still save $5.

    I should mention that I also have an iPad 3G, which I have not yet activated the 3G on. I do plan on doing so, as I've purchased a car mount, and want to be able to use it for GPS. (GPS on my iPhone 3G sucks, and then there's that tiny screen...)

    I plan on activating the $30 plan on the iPad before Monday, so that I at least have the option of "unlimited" on the iPad. I can see the iPad sucking up bandwidth quickly if not on WiFi. Right now, though, I use it almost exclusively in my home.

    So, at that point I will have the option of "unlimited" on both. Probably just let the iPad plan sit idle after a month, which I understand still qualifies me for unlimited whenever I activate it for another month. I think I'll tend to activate when I go on vacation, etc. probably just a couple of times a year. It's worth the extra $5 to not worry about bandwidth on the few occasions that I activate it.

    I also plan on getting the new iPhone, and keeping my iPhone 3G for compatibility testing. (I'm a developer.)

    I'm not a big mobile movie-watcher, and certainly not on the iPhone. That's what would tend to spike it. I do listen to streaming music in the car, from time to time. I wouldn't have the iPad in my car, expect on long trips typically. I'm guessing the 240MB was from when I was in the car more, and reading the news at lunch every day when I had an office job.

    I think that consumers tend to be overly enticed by "unlimited" options, as well as favoring a high limit that won't incur occasional overage charges. I note that my current 900-minute calling plan is probably way overkill. I went over on texting for a couple of months, and was thinking of going to a higher-priced text plan, but after working it out, it would only have saved me a couple of dollars a month, and now I am back down below 200 texts/month.

    Kinda the same deal as with insurance deductibles. Somehow I've managed to be rational with those, with $500/$1000 comp/collision on my car and $3500 on my medical. It's worked out in spades. It almost always works out in your favor to take more financial responsibility yourself. Now, why can't I be more rational about my phone bill?

    Would I be making a mistake to drop it down for the iPhone?

    For now, I'm going to leave it as it is for a couple of months and see how crazy I get with the new iPhone and if usage surges and then settles-down.

    Sorry for all the words, here's the point: speculate on use cases for dramatically higher bandwidth usage in the future. The forward-facing camera is one such use case, if video calling catches-on.

    I think there's going to be a surge of applications that are location-aware and run in background. That happens to be the application area I'm concentrating on. But I don't see that using big bandwidth. (But, then, over, say, an 8-hour day...)

    Others, besides the lure of the front-facing camera?
     
  2. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    An app doesn't use data just by being location aware, only if it has to download a lot of maps.
     
  3. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 601

    Knowlege Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #3
    If I've understood what I've been reading correctly, once you deactivate your data connection on you iPad you will no longer be able to get the unlimited plan. In other words, pay $30/mo indefinitely or get stuck with the new data caps.

    ETA: I also believe more data intensive apps and features are going to be introduced on Monday. The ones that seem most probable, in my opinion, are iTunes streaming and cloud storage.
     
  4. F123D macrumors 68040

    F123D

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Del Mar, CA
    #4
    That's what I understood as well. Keep paying $30/month to keep your unlimited plan. Otherwise, the moment you deactivate, your only options will be 2GB or 200MB.
     
  5. Cubsfan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    #5
    I think this move has a lot to do with AT&T expecting people to start using more bandwidth. Certainly video chat will use up quite a bit, and I'm going to be using a whole lot more by being able to run Pandora in the background.

    I'm not sure what new applications will be coming, but for some reason I think that AT&T is expecting usage to increase.
     
  6. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 601

    Knowlege Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #6
    This really goes without saying. If AT&T weren't looking to lose money in the coming months due to increased usage I don't think they would be changing stuff around like this. Instead of taking a hit, they're going to be significantly increasing their profits due to people not paying attention to their data usage and getting nailed with overages.

    AT&T is a wolf in sheep's clothing in this situation and not many people seem to recognize that. The people that think they're doing themselves a favor by switching to one of these new plans are going to have to seriously throttle their own usage.
     
  7. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #7
    If AT&T is worried about data usage with video calling they could just charge it as expensive calls (like other countries do) instead of data.

    Plus you guys are acting like everyone uses 3G 100% of the time. I use my iPhone A LOT. But I'm on wi-fi 90% of the time and that's not going to change soon. The times I don't have wifi is usually when I'm on the go and then I just listen to music. People have different needs.
     
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    My wife hasn't gone over 145MB in the past 6 months on her iPhone. I am definitely going to drop her data plan down to the $15/month one.
     
  9. danielsmu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #9
    I posted my long-winded thoughts on this here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=927487 but I'll summarize...

    Based on data usage since the iPhone's introduction I would say it's clear data usage will only increase in the future. As to whether you'll ever be able to get the unlimited plan back if you drop it now, or if/when/how-much AT&T will increase these data caps as the average user's needs increase...these are up for debate.

    I would contend this comes down to "Do you trust that AT&T is truly only adding these caps for capacity/bandwidth reasons, or is this simply an another way to gouge customers for overage fees?" I would say this is similar to "Do you think the airlines will remove baggage fees when the economy gets better?"

    I have my opinion, but I think it's really something you'll need to consider and decide for yourself.
     

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