iPad + Tethering = Dead Unlimited Data Plans

AT&T has big plans that may ruin their relationship with their customers.

The cell phone network has announced new data plans for their smart phones, including a date tethering plan to connect the new iPhone OS4 (when it comes out) to the iPad.  The 5GB “unlimited” data plan that’s currently installed for the iPhone is being killed in favor of a $25 DataPro 2GB with an additional 1GB available for $10 more, and the iPad’s unlimited $30 plan is being killed for a $25 2GB DataPro option.  The tethering plan is an additional $20 on top of that.

So let’s get this straight, if you want your 5GB of use on the iPhone with these new plans, you have to pay $55 ($25 for 2GB DataPro with three $10 additions) to get the same storage you have now.  Clearly this does not favor those who are heavy users.  To help manage your usage, AT&T will send you a text message alerting you to how much of your current plan’s space you have left.

The good news for iPad users is that the new 2GB plan is only for new users.  Current users have the option of keeping the plan already in effect or switching to the new one.

Wired.com puts it best, “The real losers here are the content providers. Were you wondering when Hulu would finally get around to making an iPad app? Well, quit worrying. With 2GB data, you won’t be able to watch more than a few hours a month anyway.”

AT&T, what the heck are you thinking?