Most of us were pretty upset when AT&T announced it would get rid of unlimited data plans, but if you are in the vast majority of iPhone users, a look at your past data usage will reveal that AT&T’s new plan will actually save you $60 a year.
Currently, AT&T’s unlimited data plan is $30 per month, but the new plan will cost $25 per month for 2 gigabytes of data, plus $25 for every 2 gigabyte increments you exceed. AT&T will no longer offer the unlimited data plan.
The idea of AT&T revoking the choice of unlimited data seems frustrating, but further investigation reveals that only extremely heavy data users will pay more money per month.
After doing some casual research, I realized that even a frequent iPhone user like me uses far less than 2 gigabytes of data per month.
Here’s what I found when I went to Settings >> General >> Usage:
These data usage statistics show that I’ve used a total of 9.3 gigabytes in the last 12 months, since I bought this iPhone 3GS. As someone who owns an iPhone-related website and is always on their iPhone, I was surprised to see that in the last year I have used only an average of .775 gigabytes per month. That’s less than 1 gigabyte per month without ever trying to restrict my data usage.
If my data usage is far less than 2 GB, I would venture to guess that yours is, too, unless you spend hours upon hours watching videos over 3G every day or downloading very large email attachments.
I have asked a few of my friends and family to check their own iPhone data usage, and every one has been surprised to find that they are actually going to save $5 a month with AT&T’s new data plan, since your data fee will drop from from $30 for unlimited data to $25 for more than you need.
You can thank those few extremely heavy iPhone users for subsidizing your new cheaper plan. Of course, as mobile phone usage continues to soar, we will likely start using more data, and perhaps spending more money in data chargers. At that point, will AT&T improve its infrastructure to meet the demand, or simply charge higher data fees?
How Much Data Do You Use?
Go to Settings >> General >> Usage and see how much data you’ve used since you purchased your iPhone. Will you save or lose money with AT&T’s new data plan?