The $15/month "DataPlus" plan from AT&T has gotten me thinking. According to AT&T, 65% of their smartphone customers use less than 200MB a month and is there really any doubt that the majority of iPhone users will sign up for this plan? But then, I thought, how could AT&T afford to maintain their iPhone subsidies and exclusivity contract with many iPhone subscriptions generating $180/year lower revenue for them? ($15 x 12 months) The iPhone hardware costs the same whether the person is using 200MB of data or 2GB. The obvious answer to me is that they can't. It's speculated that AT&T pays Apple over $300 per iPhone, which makes sense based on international prices for unlocked iPhones. The only way that AT&T could afford to offer $15 data plans with the iPhone is if they are subsidizing iPhones significantly less, and they could only subsidize them significantly less if they are no longer maintaining their exclusivity. There's also the possibility that rather than giving up exclusivity, AT&T is giving up the degree to which they subsidize the iPhone price point... but in the context of other news and rumors, I find this less likely.