No More Free Lunch For iPhone Data Users?



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Oharamj from above may have been in your face with his comment, but I'm also a Lebanon county, PA iPhone user and sadly it's almost February 2010 and still no 3G coverage. To add insult to injury, Apple announced the iPad will have a 3G option provided by AT&T. LOL! Obviously that option won't help anyone in this county. I definitely take advantage of Wifi when I can, but most of the time I'm using EDGE.



I wouldn't blame MacLife ovemruch on the article itself, it's essentially reportage, but the title certainly was written to catch people's attention, probably not be an editorial position of MacLife.

That said, it looks like AT&T is being very sour grapes over the apparent "sudden" bandwidth demands of iPhone users, esp in the Major Urban zones... at least that's where they have 3G service. They probably thought ... "oh how much bandwitdh can they possibly use?" This was probably based on the perception that it's a HONKING GREAT PAIN IN THE BUTT to use most advanced smartphone features on a Blackberry or Palm device, and so heavy users are few, regardless of plan. But the iPhone changed all that, making it EASY, letting users plug into data intensive uses with just a few gestures.

And too true, most of the people who DON'T have iPhones, myself included, usually cite AT&T, the most hated of the big four as their sticking point. And I can't wait for Apple to get next to Verizon or Sprint... oh GOD yes. I have Verizon FIOS and they have treated me to great service and respect.

But with the current lean towards ever more data intensive use of the internet, especially music and video, we're going to start seeing SOME kind of push towards usage-based fees, for the HUGE usage that users are demanding. Free Hulu? It's likely going to go. Yes, Sacconaghi, we'll see what happens to YouTube... But I am doing things online with my fiber-optic connection I would not even ATTEMPT with dail-up. And the other day, my to teen sons spend HOURS surfing anime and YouTube. A few years ago, that would have cost me about $40 just for the day...

Providers, seeing the wave ever-mounting are going to be looking for some way to finance the expansion in network infrastructure that such 'Net Hunger demands.

And to EyEHEARTAPPLES ... shame on you. Take a reasonable argument, STARTING off with name-calling is not the way to start a constructive rebuttal of an opinion. An opinion backed up with considerable example and real-world facts from oharamj's experience. Attack the argument, not the person.



As an iPhone user I agree with "oharamj", it certainly doesn't feel like I'm getting anything free given the upfront cost of the phone, "activation fees," and the highest monthly phone bill I've ever had.HOWEVER, oharamj is wrong to blame MacLife for the opinions expressed in the article, with the possible exception of the headline. The article clearly states that it is paraphrasing the opinion of someone else, not that of the reporter or MacLife. Notice the liberal use of phrases like "that’s the opinion of… Toni Sacconaghi," "Sacconaghi believes that," and "In Sacconaghi’s opinion." This should clue in the reader to the fact that the article is merely reporting the opinion of someone else. So please rant at the proper person.



+1 EVERY single person i've talken to with a iPhone harps on At&T But hey, their contract with apple is up in 2010 and Apple has already started looking at other carriers...Verizon top of their list.



This is not such a good marketing strategy. Steve Jobs is not so forgiving and it's more likely the iPhone will go with a carrier that uses GSM technology. Verizon uses CDMA while most of the world used GSM.  



You're an idiot.


So, nothing like the good ol' ad hominum attack.  Your profile says you just joined today ... and this is your first post - to call me an "idiot"? Look in the mirror. 



Well that isn't true since this is my only comment since it is a requirement to sign up now.  *shrugs* HOWEVER, I still stand by my original post.  I read your post and that was my first thought, that "This guy is an idiot".  I felt that so much that it inspired me to create an account since all accounts now have to be verified, maybe you haven't been around long enough to remember those days when you could just type in your comment and email address and that was it.  To explain my self though, I will later today.  I am getting ready for work at the moment but I will leave you with this.  I did Laugh out Loud when you commented on how you visit the AT&T store from time to time harassing them about your network speed and such.  I can only imagine the quick conversation they have as they see you walking up to the door and the long laugh they have as you trek back out to your truck.     



Dude you just lost your argument because you attacked your rival and not their claims.  EPICFAIL.  Plus I agree with the guy you attacked.  There is NO reason for AT&T to complain about iPhone users draining their network.  As soon as the iPhone is available on a different network I will be returning my second iPhone, the 3GS through the AT&T stores front window.  I'm one of the original iPhone customers, DAY ONE, and I've never had as poor of customer service from anyone as I've had from AT&T.  According to them everything is my fault because I'm being unreasonable by expecting my phone to work as advertised when the problem stems from the poor network. BS. 


I take offense at both your title of this article as well as its content.I'm paying something like $130 / month to AT&T for one crappy old cell phone for my wife (which she never uses) and my iPhone. A nice chunk of that goes for the 5 GB data plan and unlimited text messages.Where do you get off calling this a "free lunch"? I'm sick and tired of reading how iPhone users cause AT&T's network problems. I'm in Lebanon County PA, with 4 major metro areas surrounding us: Allentown, Harrisburg, Reading and Lancaster, all within an hour or less. They ALL have 3G but, oh no, not Lebanon County! I guess I'm one of those "extremely vocal" customers you took a swipe at. I knew 3G was some ways off when I purchased my iPhone 3G 16 months ago. But, thought I, Edge service will be OK until they get here. Every month the Edge data transfer got worse! Finally in July I went in to the AT&T Store where I purchased and complained. A long conversation ensued, which finally culminated in them acknowledging that the Edge network was overtaxed as a result of them selling more and more - not just iPhones - but also other 3G phones, notebook and netbook 3G. They said not to worry though, that 3G was coming by year end. Recently I went in and inquired about the 3G progress and they told me "Those plans are off, the company isn't going to add any more 3G towers because 4G is coming." WTF?So, I pay the data plan but lumber along with data transfer rates hovering around 28.8 kbs at best. I know this because I downloaded the SpeedTest app. When all the kids get out of school and on weekend nights the speed gets so slow it takes one to two minutes for a web page to load. Sometimes longer. It's not my phone - been there, done that. Completely checked out. Plus, if I drive to any of the four cities surrounding us, I get dramatically improved speeds.I figure they've gotten about $500 from me in data charges alone, and for what? Don't tell ME I'm getting a free lunch, AND, the data charges are supposed to provide 5 GB per month. I am a very heavy user and I don't go over 5 GB and, anyway, THAT'S WHAT I'M PAYING FOR!!! You make it sound like heavy users are leeches on the system or something. What, you think we should be paying MORE?Let me tell YOU something ... I just ordered and received in 24 hours two 3G netbooks from Verizon. They cost me $30 apiece plus the monthy data service. One to my wife and one for me. If Verizon would take the iPhone I would switch over in a heartbeat. I know people here with Verizon 3G and these netbooks will probably replace most of my iPhone web browsing. Then all I need to do is tell AT&T to go pound sand. Oh happy day!

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