Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of Today, he leads the team building Console, Inc. - a new kind of Androidâ„¢ device. He still likes to pontificate... a lot. You can visit his personal blog at

Google - +ChristopherPrice | Twitter - @chrisprice | LinkedIn

Questions for Chris? You can also reach him by email, but please use the contact form for general comments, questions, and feedback.

28 responses to “AT&T Announces Smartphone, iPhone, iPad Data Pricing Changes & Tethering”

  1. Benjamin A

    Sounds like AT&T is trying to slow peoples data use to make their network seem better.

  2. Sean Peck

    Aren’t these trends supposed to be going the OPPOSITE direction? I remember the time not-so-long-ago when unlimited voice plans were unheard of. Then Nextel came out with it, and I jumped all over it for myself and employees. Then slowly but surely the other players (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) jumped on-board. They had to.

    What’s different here? The i. AT&T thinks they have us all by the you-know-what-anatomy because they are the default (and sometimes only) carrier for these devices. I own an iPad WiFi model, and was just about to upgrade to the 3G model, and I came across this article. Now I’m reconsidering. Perhaps I’ll dump my iPhone, and get a Verizon phone with unlimited data and just tether. Tired of this AT&T/Apple arrangement, and while they can and will do what they want, I think it’s high-time Apple look at (especially with the iPad) if the AT&T partnership is hurting them. I’ve spoken to a LOT of people that say to me “yeah, the iPhone’s great, and if it weren’t for AT&T, I’d buy one in a heartbeat”.

  3. L Wong

    How can a company change a contract that we both have agreed to? It is one thing to offer a change if it is mutually agreed on.

  4. Sean Peck

    @ L Wong – I think this is for new customers, as the article says something about “June 7th”. Still, odd they would do with within so short of a time after the ipad being released, along with Apple having listed the “old” plans on their site and all marketing materials. I wonder how far AT&T has to push Apple before Apple pushes back?

  5. JJ

    This is going to suck. Now Verizon and Sprint will probably do the same as they are all copycats.
    I just looked at their pricing chart and the prices will be outrageous if you even go over the 2gb cap.
    2gb Plan: $25
    if you go over:
    Does anybody else thinks this is outrageous?

    I better check what my usage is just to see how this will affect me if my cell company goes the way of crappy AT&T.
    Instead of hurting the customer they should focus on improving the network. Like someone said, this is just to get some pressure off the network and make people think att is getting better with coverage and dead spots.

  6. SaltyDawg

    Wow, AT&T’s data plans are now ridiculously over priced.

    How can they justify charging you a $20 fee for tethering if your data is limited with huge overage fees anyway?

    Utterly ridiculous.

    So which plan is the new mandatory data plan for smartphones, the $25 plan?

  7. Jeff

    I wanna meet someone that is able to get more than 2GB downloaded through their iPhone without tethering. I think you would have to use Slingplayer a lot.

  8. jim

    The tethering thing stinks. Would be fairly decent if for that extra $20 they upped your data cap to 5 Gig for a total of $45. That beats a data card at least. The iPad change really blows me away. One month after the 3G version is released and they get stuck with this DRASTIC change in the data plan offers. I can’t wait till that 2M units/60 days comes to a screeching halt come next Monday lol.

    What scares me about this is what VZW, Sprint & T-Mo will do to follow.

  9. Jeff

    What really bothers me the most is that because of a few users, all users will be punished. Under the old pricing, anyone could have a high month and avoid overages. Now everyone will be subject to it even if you have no idea how much data you use–it isn’t like a site tells you how much it will cost to download it before you click on it.

  10. JJ

    Well if att is right and less than 2% of users go over 2gb then this is a good price. The problem is that the unlimited now is only $5 more than the 2gb. It should actually be $20 to make it worthwhile.
    I just checked my usage for this month and so far I only need 206,806kb to reach 2gb–and I still have 8 days left on this billing cycle. So normally I hit 2gb every month,sometimes I go above depending if I’m tethering a lot that month. So att might not have too many mad customers. Most of them will be saving money.
    Verizon already announced weeks ago that they were going to do tiered pricing for their lte, I wonder if sprint is getting ready to do the same. I guess in the end it won’t be bad for most people. I think att is trying to weed out bandwith hoggers.

  11. Sean Peck

    @Jeff – I frequently exceed 2GB on my iphone without tethering via the iphone’s built-in VPN (the $40 /month enterprise VPN) using an iphone remote desktop app to administer my client’s servers. Don’t forget – that data usage counts BOTH directions and combines it.

    I don’t think this has to do with punishing the masses because of the few “heavy users”. I think it has more to do with AT&T realizing that their service is not 90% voice, 10% data as it has been for the last 15 years. Now they are having their networks being drowned with data, and in many cases they only have one or two T1 lines serving a tower. What we’re seeing is AT&T reeling from the effects of smart devices and iphones, and their data cards. Now they have to pay to actually improve their infrastructure to handle us ‘expensive’ customers that actually USE the service we pay for. The oversubscription model isn’t proving as lucrative as it used to, and they are losing massive business on other areas such as residential landlines (who has a POTS phoneline in their home anymore? they either have cell phones only, or VoIP) and are facing a huge loss of market share in commercial landlines and data as competing companies (CLECs/ come in and undercut them to win business. They are on a sinking ship, and the only thing that can possibly float them is the iPhone exclusivity deal specifically, and their wireless division in general. But I don’t know that AT&T would be a lot of people’s first choice if they had a choice with their iPhones, both from a cost and service perspective. I yearn for the day that we see the new iPhone generations coming out with CDMA radios in them, allowing us onto Verizon, Sprint, et. al.

  12. Jeff

    Are business accounts affected by this?

  13. Sean Peck

    Business accounts are == consumer accounts, with the addition of an X% discount (based on # of lines) and an “account rep”. And then there are those of us that are small business that just sign up under a multi line consumer account.

  14. F1


    1. $25 DataPro >>2GB.
    2.However, users will be required to pay a $20/month tethering fee to use the service on the device.

    That translates to $45 for 2GB, instead of the outgoing $30 for unlimited (5GB) on the iPhone!
    However, “Grandfathered DataConnect plans are OK for Upgrades”, in other words established customers are not subjected to this absurd new plan, only for new accounts!

    Are you awake, SPRINT??

    Thank You

  15. JJ

    I just saw an article on engadget about an att customer who wrote an email to both ceo of att and ceo of apple and steve jobs responded with a good comment as someone would and randall stephenson responded via one of his cronies saying that if he didn’t stop he would be met with “legal action” and a ceast and decist letter. All he wanted was to speak his thoughts about tethering and the new plans on his iphone. Unbelievable. Hopefully he canceled his att account and switched to sprint.

  16. JJ
  17. BJ

    Apparently F1 is the one dreaming in the la-la land.

  18. Cell Dude

    The $15 for 200 MB is fine but to eliminate the unlimited data for $30 is stupid. AT&T should get a grip. All I know is I hope this comes back and bites them in the ass!!!

  19. Hates Cingular

    Wow! att really screwed themselves with this one, i was actually excited for the new iphone and switch from sprint to att, but after all this i might as well keep sprint and just upgrade to the Evo, atleast ill get my money’s worth.

  20. After Forever

    This is a big huge pile of Bull $hit. The average user consumes less than 200 MB per month of data.
    I am that average user. And I am by far NOT a heavy hitter for downloading data. I on occasion stream a radio station and view a couple of web pages every days. My average data usage is 550 Mbytes a month.

    Track your usage and report it here please….
    * Hit up and log into your online account
    * Click on My Accounts and select Bill & Payments
    * Click Billing Reports and select Data Trends
    * Hit Submit

  21. F1


    Good one, however as you there are more “nightmares” in Los Angeles though! lol

    Thank You

  22. F1

    Oops @BJ

    Meant to say, as you probably are aware…..

    Thank you

  23. Jon

    Prepaid is sounding better all the time these days… They gotcha hooked and they know that people will just about do anything for that stupid iphone. My wife has one and its cool but I like my 9.99 talk n text add on. I guess im just basic.

  24. AT&T Allowing Select iPhone Owners to Switch from DataPlus/Pro Back to Unlimited Data |

    […] plan has been available to select customers since last June when the DataPlus/Pro plans were first rolled out along with tethering, but was never publicly disclosed until […]

  25. AT&T Forcing New Plans for 4G Devices, No Grandfathered Data Plans Allowed |

    […] details on the data plans for 4G devices going forward. First, the plans will mirror the current DataPlus and DataPro plans with the most recent modifications for Mobile Hotspot, but anyone wishing to upgrade to a 4G […]

  26. Gadget Encyclopedia «

    […] details on the data plans for 4G devices going forward. First, the plans will mirror the current DataPlus and DataPro plans with the most recent modifications for Mobile Hotspot, but anyone wishing to upgrade to a 4G […]

  27. linda

    wow thanks for this info