I never understood why Apple tethered so tightly to AT&T. The AT&T network is terrible if you live in a big city like New York or San Francisco and the iPhone and iPad are both hamstrung by AT&T’s horrible voice and network. The news that broke today that AT&T were discontinuing their “unlimited data plans” for Apple devices is yet another death blow from AT&T against its own, murderous, throat.
In the wake of the immediate outrage that followed AT&T’s data-slashing-plan announcement — the company backtracked from their limited data plans — and now claim existing customers can stay on the unlimited plans as long as they are customers before the slash is invoked.
I wonder if that will remain true when Janna’s credit card expires in a few months and she has to “re-up” her monthly iPad data plan on AT&T with a new credit card expiration date.
Apple are set to announce a new iPhone in four days — rumored to finally have a forward-facing camera for live video via iChat — and it is obvious AT&T are terrified of the bandwidth requirements live video chat will place on their fragile, old, and feeble, network and so they decided to kill the video iChat baby in its crib before it takes its first “Hello World!” breath of freedom.
Sure, AT&T also doesn’t want you downloading Hulu shows or Netflix films to your iPhone because that sort of rich entertainment makes their data backbone break — but the massive bandwidth eater waiting in the prevaricating woods is live video chat where each side of the communication dyad requires a strong and sustained data flow to make video watchable.
Deaf people have been dying for iChat video on their iPhones ever since the first iPhone was announced and now, it appears, AT&T are not interested in letting the Deaf fully use data in that way without paying outrageous overage prices.
The end of unlimited data on AT&T is another strong indicator Apple are finally opening up the iPhone to other providers like Verizon and perhaps even T-Mobile and Sprint — and that effort is grand and will be remarkably rewarded in the marketplace — while AT&T will significantly suffer a massive consumer exodus they cannot begin to imagine, even though they’re proactively prepping for their inevitable demise by charging ridiculous cancellation fees and limiting data plans.