Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The New Cost of the iPhone: Pick Your Plan

Srmana Mitra has been covering the major players involved in building and benefiting from the iPhone. Her recent post is about AT&T and, clearly, they look to rake in the cash by jacking their new iPhone customers. But how long can they do so until customers react?

Someone ought to look at the average cell phone bill since moving over to AT&T with their iPhone. Add at least another $20 to everyone's plan (data package), right? Or at least a good majority since I suppose some were previous data plan subscribers. There's also been quite a few people going with the PickYourPlan offerings they have for those who don't want a contract. I was on Pay As You Go before, so logically I'd go to PickYourPlan since I don't have a SIN and don't want a 2 year commitment.

I'm now spending about triple each month on my phone bill because texting is 3x the price (0.15 each), plus the per minute rate is more (0.13 vs. 0.10), plus Internet ($20), plus increase long distance charges... I'm actually considering dropping the plan and hacking the iPhone to support my old Pay As You Go, not only because of the costs, but because I get a #$%ing balance notification every couple hours, even at 4am (since it vibrates for this it can disturb your sleep 4 times per night). I talked to AT&T about it but only got an apology out of them. How friggin' difficult can this be for their engineers to fix???

So yeah. Buy AT&T stock right now. Their margins should be up 20% for their mobility unit over the next 6 months. Then short the suckers. Eventually their lack of concern for properly supporting a fine device such as the iPhone with the respect it deserves ought to send their churn rates through the roof as soon as Nokia or Motorola get their act together - or Apple releases the iPhone II on a different network. After all, how long can we deal with the disrupted sleep?

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