10 Reasons Why ATandT's New Data Plans Hint at Verizon iPhone

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-06-02 Print this article Print

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 5. Why would consumers care?

AT&T is saying that it dropped the price of the iPhone's data plans to help consumers. And although some folks will be excited to hear that their bills will be lower by about $5 from now on, it's debatable how much consumers would really care. AT&T didn't make this move to be the nice company in a motley crue of bad apples. It did it for a real business reason. Yes, it might have been to increase its customer-service capital, but it might have also been due to its knowledge of what's coming in short order.

6. The iPad is a key battleground

It's important to remember that the iPad is also included in AT&T's data changes. According to the company, the $30 unlimited plan has given way to a $25 per month, 2GB plan. Those that currently have a $30 plan can maintain it. Admittedly, AT&T's decision to change things up for iPad customers is troublesome. The iPad is one place where consumers want to stream video, which takes up a lot of bandwidth. But by saving customers $5, AT&T might want to look like the good company again. And it would be up to Verizon Wireless to respond.

7. Verizon won't be expecting it

AT&T's move, if a Verizon iPhone is, in fact, making its way to the market, is a smart one. Assuming Verizon has been working with Apple on developing the device, the company probably also has its data plans all set and ready to go. Since AT&T was offering $30 per month fees, the company might have offered the same plans. Now that AT&T has revised its own plans, all that has changed. When it comes to strategy, AT&T's decision to change its plans just a few days before Verizon takes the stage is a smart one. Assuming, of course, that Verizon will actually have the iPhone.

8. AT&T would know, right?

If any company would know that Apple plans to bring the iPhone to Verizon's service, it's AT&T. After all, the company signed an exclusivity deal with the hardware company and it would be the first to know if Apple was getting out of it. That's an important element in all this. Even though there is a chance that Verizon won't have the iPhone, AT&T's decision to change data plans seems like one that was born out of its desire to beat its top competitor to the punch. And unlike so many other things in the tech business, this is one item that AT&T would have known all about.

9. It's saying all the right things

AT&T is a highly respected company in the tech industry because it knows what it needs to do to be successful. And as its press release announcing the sweeping changes to its data plans shows, the company has once again said all the right things. Some might say that AT&T's comments on the changes are perfectly throwing consumers off the scent. Others say that there is no Verizon iPhone on the way, so there is no scent to throw consumers off. In either case, AT&T is ramping up the rhetoric to ensure it looks good whether Verizon offers an iPhone or not.

10. It's being much nicer

AT&T is doing a fantastic job at looking like the company looking out for customers in its new plans. In fact, it will inform customers that they're getting close to their limits to ensure that they don't get overcharged for a service. That's a welcome addition to AT&T's plans. For too long, carriers have been bullying customers. It seems now that AT&T wants to fix some of its past mistakes and make it clear that it really is looking out for them. That's nice. But whether or not it's born out of AT&T's desire to play the nice person or if it's a reaction to a Verizon iPhone is still in doubt. There's no telling what Apple plans to announce at WWDC. But based on AT&T's latest moves, a Verizon iPhone wouldn't be a shocker.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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