The cost of data has gone up $10/month, as previously discussed. What I forgot to include was the loss of free text messaging–current owners get 200 SMS messages included in their $20 data plan. Now those 200 texts cost an extra five bucks.
Redoing the comparison, what I had outlined as
Old: 399 + (24 x 20) = $879
New: 199 + (24 x 30) = $919
is, for users interested in the same level of access, actually
New: 199 + (24 x (30 + 5)) = $1039
Sure, the price increase includes the upgrade to 3G service, which can rightly be considered a premium. But the pricing strategy feels almost bait-and-switch-esque in its execution. They’re trumpeting a $200 savings in the price of the phone, yet users are paying $160 more for usage.
Ironically, what is classified as a win for the mobile phone industry–Apple’s moving to a subsidy model to make its prices more attractive–ultimately leaves AT&T with a horrible jack-up-the-prices publicity nightmare on its hands.
See you when the third-gen comes out in ’09.
Update: AT&T is not raising data rates on original iPhones with new activations, suggesting that the 3G network is the justification of the price bump. Well, that and the fact that they already made their money on the profit split of the initial iPhone sale.