Will AT&T jack up the price of 3G iPhone plans? - Macenstein

Will AT&T jack up the price of 3G iPhone plans?

iPhone users currently enjoy a pretty sweet deal on unlimited data. Just $20 a month gets you all the web pages you can eat, unlimited e-mails and up to 200 Text messages a month. Sure, you’re on the slower Edge network, but you get what you pay for, right?

Well, getting what you paid for is exactly what’s gotten me worried. We all “know” Apple will be releasing a 3G iPhone at some point, and for most people considering upgrading, the big question has always been “When”. But for me, the bigger question is “How Much?”, as in, how much will it cost me to have a 3G iphone over an Edge one?

While Sprint offers unlimited 3G data and text plans for $30 (with mobile TV, Sirius Radio and other goodies), AT&T’s current unlimited data plan + 200 text messages on their 3G network for a Blackberry is $35. Same with the Samsung BlackJack. Now, I use my iPhone to browse the web and check e-mail pretty much every day, but $20 is about what that functionality is worth to me. At $35, the convenience turns into a luxury I can do without. So the question I am posing (and one no one here can likely answer with any certainty) is when Apple and AT&T do roll out the 3G iPhone, will they hike up the cost of the iPhone’s unlimited data plan?

I certainly hope not, but I don’t see how they can’t. First, Research in Motion/Samsung and others will likely be upset with the iPhone being given preferential treatment for the same services and Network. Second, from all accounts, AT&T is getting screwed by Apple’s revenue sharing deal, and they’re likely looking for a way to recoup some of that money.

Given the inevitability of a 3G iPhone roll out, and what I see as the coinciding inevitable 3G price hike, my real question is “Will AT&T still offer an Edge-only plan for iPhone?” And the answer is… gosh I hope so. I am considering upgrading my 8GB iPhone to a 16 GB model at the moment. Obviously, if Apple releases a 3G iPhone in 5 months, AT&T will still support its Edge customers. So for me, knowing I will refuse to pay more for a 3G iPhone monthly plan, it makes sense for me to upgrade my iPhone now. Of course, if somehow AT&T decides not to charge more for the 3G plan, then I will be hit with a case of buyer’s remorse so severe I may not pull through (plus you can’t use a 3G or an Edge iPhone in the hospital anyway). But such is the problem when buying technology.

9 Responses to “Will AT&T jack up the price of 3G iPhone plans?”
  1. Magicpony says:

    A bit off topic but this article reminded me. How has the colorware paintjob held up?

  2. M Sharp says:

    They’ll cut the price of the current package to $20 and roll 3G for $35.

  3. Eric says:

    AT&T already offers an unlimited 3G data plan that’s no more than current iPhone data+text messaging packages. It was nice to use when I had my 3G phone before I got my iPhone.

  4. Jonro says:

    Hopefully, they won’t raise the price, or if they do, it will be a nominal amount, like $5.00. So far, Edge has been adequate for my needs and I would not pay much more for 3G. If the

  5. Gidgidonihah says:

    Actually, you’re misinformed. You CAN use the iPhone in the hospital nowadays. My fiance, a nurse, does it all the time 🙂

  6. macpony says:

    I have similar thoughts about Edge vs. 3G service and costs. My real worry is that once the 3G iPhone is out for a year or so, will AT$T drop Edge support ? I would hate to have my 8GB iPhone sitting on top of my Sony BetaMax player holding down my flight credits on PanAm.

  7. Eric says:

    I’m not sure that you understand AT&T’s price structure. Edge and 3G access is limited only by the hardware in the phone. AT&T’s price for unlimited data and 200 text messages is $35. No matter what. Data plans for phones without 3G don’t cost any less. Apple has been given preferential treatment from day one, because the iPhone’s data plan has always cost less. AT&T also put in the infrastructure for visual voicemail and for at-home activation. Since Apple and AT&T signed a 5 year exclusivity contract, I have a feeling that prices won’t change for a while, and if they do, they’ll go down. Prices for technology always trend downwards. In reply to macpony’s comment, AT&T wouldn’t drop edge support. Edge data is the only option for most of the country, as well as most of the phones on the network. 3G data is mainly available in major metropolitan areas, because of the cost of putting up a cell tower.

  8. Big C says:

    My only concern, iven where I travel, is that I would need an iPhone that gets both 3G and EDGE. If there isn’t 3G somewhere, I’d need the EDGE network to backup. I spend about a third of my time in cities I know have no 3G (my Kindle doesn’t work there). If EDGE is in the phone as a backup, I’m sold up to $35 a month for 3G and 1500 texts… I’m paying $30 for that now.

  9. Big Werm says:

    I don’t know where some of you are getting your info from. An unlimited data plan for my EDGE iPhone is $20. The 3G plan is $35. At least that’s how it is where I live.

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