In a previous article, I gave a personal account of how AT&T’s new plan changes would affect me. To give AT&T a fair shake to those who are considering the new iPhone 4, I’ve decided to discuss why the iPhone 4 or any other smart phone on AT&T will prove to be more consuming when it comes to data.
This article is more for the future smartphone users that will not be grandfathered regarding their current AT&T data plan. This article also serves purpose to those who would have been grandfathered, but decided not to in order to add tethering to your iPhone device.
Not too long ago I pondered on a theory that most smart phone users (that have an application market) see a spike in their data usage during their first few months with that smart phone. Naturally I decided to look into it. After taking into consideration that I would fall into the 2 percent of AT&T smartphone customers who use more than 2 GB of data a month on average, I decided to ask a friend to provided me with information regarding her AT&T data plan.
This friend of mind currently uses the iPhone 3GS with an unlimited data plan.
After averaging her monthly data usage, I calculated that she consumes 612.5 MB on average per month. This places her in the 35 percent of users that use more then 200 MB a month on average. according to AT&T.
So this user will be better off purchasing the Data Pro plan for 5 dollars less than her current 30 dollar unlimited plan. The user also personally would like to include tethering to the plan. However, I will not factor that in.
In her December usage I noticed a spike my thesis was referring to. In this month, this user would have spent 45 dollars on her data usage (25 dollars for Data Pro and 20 dollars for going over her limit).
In order to justify my belief that taking away unlimited data is just no good, I took a look into the top 10 most downloaded applications. On my way there I came across Guitar Hero being advertised as the application of the week in the app store. This application alone registered at 106 MB. That’s already 1/2 of the amount that the Data plus plan allows monthly.
On a personal take for this specific user, I think that paying 5 dollars extra to have an unlimited plan is better. it gives you less to worry about. Also, don’t be mislead by AT&T. They said that these users use X amount of data on average. just because your average usage is 200 MB does not mean that you won’t/haven’t used over 200 MB.
It would be the worst thing if you selected the 200 MB plan, and for your first month of having the iPhone and downloading numerous apps and ended up using 3.5 Gbs as my friend did. That would cost the 200MB average user 262.20 dollars for that month alone.