Will AT&T Be Forced To Reduce Their Pricing?
Ok, before we get too far into this, let’s get one thing out there… I am about to speculate based on ideas I know about competition in the marketplace. So this information isn’t set in ground, but it definitely COULD happen with the release of the iPhone 5 on Sprints network.
I believe, with a high likeihood, that AT&T will be forced to go back to an unlimited data plan for iPhones, and possibly even iPads! Here’s how I see it…
Sprint currently has a plan where you are allowed unlimited data, unlimited text messages, and unlimited calling. And that plan seems to be getting them a lot of attention from the penny pinchers who don’t desperately need the iPhone 4 and can settle with the (in many ways equal in quality) HTC Evo or other Android phones.
Well, prior to the release of the iPhone 5, AT&T had a comfortable disposition due to the fact that Sprint couldn’t sell the iPhone at all… It was limited to only Verizon and AT&T users. Creating quite the price “ownership” because AT&T basically said, “If you want to be a part of the largest cell phone network on the planet, we’re going to charge you basically DOUBLE what our competitors are charging… just so you can use the iPhone.”
With The iPhone 5 – That All Changes!
Like I said, Sprint will now have the ability to offer the iPhone 5 in October. I’m sure AT&T is preparing for this because they would much rather us renew our contracts with them in order to get the iPhone 5, than wait it out and get the iPhone 5 with Sprint. In order to make this even LIKELY one of two things will have to happen.
AT&T gets closer to Sprints pricing model with their iPhone 5 plans. I’m assuming it’ll be around $80/ month for unlimited everything, or at least that would make sense. Their calling network is FAR inferior to Sprints network, but they don’t want to take a TOTAL bath in calling plans either.
Sprint will raise their prices for iPhone 5 users. I find this to be highly unlikely due to the fact that they have wanted the iPhone business for a LONG time, since it came out I’m sure. Raising their prices will not get them any new business, so one can assume they will most likely win the price competition and take a lot of new customers from AT&T… unless, of course, AT&T wises up and lowers their rate.
Now, for me… I have the “grandfathered” rate because I’ve had an iPhone since before they were awesome… the ones that were slower than Christmas and could barely answer a call… or at least that’s how I remember them. So needless to say the price competition won’t be a huge factor for me. BUT – the one major thing I am missing in the “Grandfathered” rate is the ability to tether…
Kinda sucks right? They add this AWESOME feature to the OS and I don’t get to use it because I want to save money on my cell phone plan. This is another thing I think they will be adding to the new plan because Sprint has definitely dominated that market. Whenever you see someone tethering their laptop to a handheld device, you pretty much can assure that it’s a Sprint device.
AT&T – if you’re reading this… I want tethering and I don’t want it to cost me any more than I already pay (which is STILL more than Sprints unlimited plan… just in case you didn’t know). I will be getting the iPhone 5 as soon as pre-orders become available in the US… along with a couple million other people I’m sure… but if you want to keep the business you’ve worked so hard for AFTER the release of the iPhone 5, you need to lower your rates and give us tethering on an unlimited plan… it only makes sense.
What good is tethering without unlimited data? They go hand in hand, and I bet the new OS in the iPhone 5 will absolutely STELLAR, and that’ll make tethering even faster. So yeah, don’t be dumb and give us a better rate plan. We deserve it! Oh, and while your at it, maybe you could put up a couple cell towers that ACTUALLY work. I’m not sure which has been dropped more; the iPhone 4 into a bar toilet near you due to the fact that the ‘free’ case they gave to make up for horrible reception falls apart exponentially faster than any other case on the market, or the calls it makes with the AT&T network. Oh wait… yes I am, I’ve personally dropped about 90% of my calls so I can’t imagine it’s even close.
Here’s to the iPhone 5 creating equality among the cell phone providers, and also raise a glass to Sprint for FINALLY joining this century and starting to sell the iPhone 5!