AT&T this week overhauled smartphone pricing as we know it, while bigwigs at a prominent tech conference focused on phones, tablets, and everything in between. All this came amid buzz about the new iPhone Apple's Steve Jobs is expected to unveil during a keynote speech Monday at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference.
AT&T, which is still the only U.S. wireless provider offering Apple's iPhone, caught some industry watchers off guard Wednesday bystarting Monday--yes, the same day as . AT&T will now offer two-tiered data plan pricing.
The move has some praising the carrier for offering a plan that aligns costs with customer data usage and helps, while others are calling AT&T greedy and criticize it for potentially stifling future mobile application usage and innovation.
The shift affects new AT&T smartphone subscribers who sign up for service on or after Monday. Current smartphone subscribers, including iPhone and iPad customers who have already signed up for the $30 unlimited data plans, are grandfathered in. They can continue to use those unlimited plans until their contracts run out. But if they want to switch their plans to the new $15 and $25 plans they can.
for details on the new pricing structure and a clearer explanation of what it means to wireless customers.
Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless operator in the U.S. and AT&T's chief rival, wouldn't comment on AT&T's new pricing plans. But if history is any indication, it won't take long before Verizon begins offering tiered service for its smartphones, as well.
Meanwhile, at the D: All Things Digital this week, it was all things mobile and, especially following the opening speech by Jobs. The Apple CEO said the . He also talked Google, Windows, iPhonegate, AT&T, and more.
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