If you want to nab an iPhone 4 on O2 UK, don’t expect to get an unlimited data plan because the carrier has adjusted its rates to kill off all-you-can-eat mobile Internet access.
Beginning June 24, the launch date of Apple’s latest smartphone, new and upgrading users will have to choose a tiered plan for data. Spending roughly $30 to $42 a month will give you 500 MB of data, while $48 to $55 will give you 750 MB per month. Those who pay a little more than $70 a month will get 1 GB of data. These plans also include some voice and texting options and the rates will also depend on how much subsidy you get on the handset. Please note all figures are roughly translated from euros to dollars.
“As a new or upgrading customer, you can get iPhone 4 on an 18 or 24 month tariff. Or, you can choose to pay the full Pay & Go price for an iPhone 4 and choose a Pay Monthly simplicity for iPhone tariff,” O2 said. “All our smartphone tariffs for iPhone include Visual Voicemail, up to 1GB of UK data and unlimited WiFi.”
It looks like unlimited mobile data may soon be a thing of the past, as multiple carriers are moving away from this type of service plan. AT&T recently killed off unlimited data for its plans – you can now buy 200 MB for $15 a month or 2 GB for $25 a month. Verizon Wireless is also eying giving users a “bucket” of mobile data for multiple devices when it rolls out its 4G network based on Long-Term Evolution technology.
I’m still not quite sure how I feel about the upcoming death of unlimited data plans. I think metering the mobile web can have a negative impact on innovation in the app space, as well as limit the usefulness of some of these devices. Look at how many great things came out of the Internet once users didn’t have to watch the clock. On the other hand, many users are paying too much for the amount of data they use and are essentially subsidizing those dreaded “data hogs.” Maybe the solution is a tiered-pricing model where there’s a costly, but truly unlimited plan at the top.
How say you, readers?