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iPad Bait and Switch — No More Unlimited Data Plan 670

Posted by kdawson
from the nice-while-it-lasted dept.
_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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iPad Bait and Switch — No More Unlimited Data Plan

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  • by PmanAce (1679902) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @08:25AM (#32429856) Homepage's all fun and stuff in the beginning until you hit reality. Next.
  • by tresstatus (260408) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @08:26AM (#32429864)
    i thought that was reel big fish's slogan.....
  • by tananda (85834) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @08:43AM (#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

  • by boaworm (180781) <> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @08:46AM (#32430064) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @08:52AM (#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..

  • by Dog-Cow (21281) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @08:58AM (#32430168)

    It is illegal (in the US) for an airline to do that to you. If they cancel a flight (or even if circumstances force a cancellation), they have to provide you with an alternate flight. They even have to pay for accommodations if the next available flight is the next day.

    If you use any kind of travel agency, they are free to charge you whatever they'd like for the rescheduling.

  • by 12345Doug (706366) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:01AM (#32430204)
    While you might like to give Apple a pass for the evils of AT&T. Let's not forget the reason this is news at all is because of Apple's insistence on a single network for it's devices. If it had opened the device up to all network providers then we would all ho-hum it and move to another provider. It's Apple's desire to maximize it's control and limit options that is the true culprit here. And if they didn't foresee this as a potential issue shame on them.
  • Re:N900 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:03AM (#32430222)
    The N900 uses a 3G band (1700 MHz) that few carriers in North America support. T-Mobile does, but most others use 1900 MHz, which makes the N900 not able to do 3G on most North American networks.
  • by ALeavitt (636946) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ttivaela>> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:17AM (#32430378)
    Maybe you don't remember their slogan:
    We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company.
  • Or consider Cournot (Score:3, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:20AM (#32430428) Homepage Journal

    They are in danger of becoming dumb, fat, pipes and then collapsing into Bertrand.

    What makes you think they'll go Bertrand and not Cournot []?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:29AM (#32430528)

    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.


    They could. That's how the industry works. I think that's what GP was talking about.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:31AM (#32430570)

    You know that the iPhone 3G tethers, right?

    Mine does, and I don't need any extra software, it's built right into the OS.

  • by discojohnson (930368) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:36AM (#32430648)
    We all love anecdotal evidence, and mine is 100-275MB/mo on wife's phone (Blackjack II) who is mostly email and lots of facebook, while my iPhone 3G usage is 500-1400MB/mo and I am definitely a power user (casual online games, push email for work, lots of internet referencing, and even RDP and some SOCKS tethering when on the road). This is over the past 14 months, so I suggest those freaking out to at least take a peek and see if they will actually be affected.
  • by Miros (734652) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:36AM (#32430652)
    Yes, this has happened before in almost the same industry with long distance lines and local service provider colocation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:44AM (#32430754)

    What does this have to do with Apple? This is an AT&T decision.

  • by iivel (918436) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @10:00AM (#32431000) Homepage
    Unfortunately in the US (and many other countries), this would involve jailbreaking the iPhone.
  • by nabsltd (1313397) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @10:08AM (#32431110)

    The free market is as much an idealized unattainable as the Star Trek no money communism utopia.

    Since pretty much every incarnation of Star Trek depicted the use of "money" (i.e., a token that has no intrinsic value of its own, but has been defined to have value by the government), I guess the free market is quite attainable.

    What confuses people is that 95% of Star Trek episodes are set on the ship or in a diplomatic situation. On current US warships, sailors don't need money for very much other than gambling among themselves...meals are free, etc. Why should the starship Enterprise be any different?

    In diplomatic situations, the host country (planet) doesn't make the guests pay for their food and entertainment at the state dinners, and often lets them use housing that is set aside for such occasions.

    But, the crew paid for food and drinks in restaurants and bars, tribbles cost money to purchase, and bribes were paid for information.

  • If it matters... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ajdowntown (91738) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @10:11AM (#32431162) Homepage
    If it matters to anyone, I just checked with my iPad and was able to upgrade from the 250meg plan to the unlimited plan. So, I suggest that if anyone who has an iPad and thinks they will want the unlimited plan, just go ahead and get it now... AT&T has said they will not force anyone over to the new plans, so go ahead, get it while you still can.
  • by Graymalkin (13732) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @11:00AM (#32431866)

    T-Mobile is a GSM carrier but they don't offer 3G service on the same frequency bands as AT&T and in fact a totally different band. In order to support T-Mobile's 3G a phone has to have a baseband radio that supports it. You can't just take a random phone from AT&T and use 3G on T-Mobile's network. Ask anyone with a SIM unlocked iPhone, they're stuck on EDGE with T-Mobile. So in the US you really only have the option of AT&T if you want to put a commonly available baseband in your phone.

  • by ink (4325) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @11:26AM (#32432214) Homepage

    It's not all that difficult [] to free your iPhone. Mine can not only tether, but it also will create an 802.11 access point to share my 3G connection with anyone in range. I also get the added benefit of apt, including pretty much any command-line based utility (ssh, tcpdump, nmap, etc.). I showed my father the roaming 3G access point, and now his phone is jailbroken as well. He did it himself.

  • by Late Adopter (1492849) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @11:37AM (#32432402)
    Credit cards in particular, are handled by the card companies (and by the law) in a way very different from the way consumers look at them. From the credit card company's point of view, they are establishing a loan to you FOR THE BILLING PERIOD, at that month's apr. If you choose to "revolve" the loan into the next billing period, that's a whole new agreement, which you're free to take or leave, understanding that "leaving" requires paying off your loan in full.
  • by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:02PM (#32435778) Homepage

    Most US warships have vending machines and stores that sell anything from snacks to clothing to DVD players (depending on the size of the ship and its store), so yes, money is still used.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long