Add this to the list of why waiting to buy an iPad is a good idea. AT&T today announced a major change to the way their customers pay for consuming data across its 3G network. Gone is the flat rate of $30 per month for iPad users. Taking its place are a pair of options — 200 megabytes at $15 a month or 2 gigabytes at $25. At the 200 meg rate, overage is $15 for 200 extra megs; at the 2-gig rate, it’s $10 for another gig. However, even current users of the 3G iPad will be forced to pick one of the new plans.
AT&T customers on flat-rate data plans for their iPhones can choose to remain on the unlimited plan or choose one of the new plans.
I checked my data usage history and found that I come in under 1 gigabyte a month with my iPhone. My highest usage was 917 megabytes, so I may take a closer look at shifting to the $25-a-month plan. I’m guessing that iPad users will chew up more data by watching a lot of video on the network.
Users with Wi-Fi-only iPads needn’t worry about the data plans, as they are piggybacking on existing wireless hot spots. I’m thinking this is the way to go, as AT&T also announced today that the iPhone will soon be able to tether to other devices through an Internet connection. It’s not ideal, but it does give iPad users another option.
I’ll be a really happy camper the day Wi-Fi connections are truly ubiquitous in America — or at least in Las Vegas.
For more about today’s AT&T announcement, see this story on Adotas: