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Sprint rumored to retain unlimited data plans after iPhone 5 arrives

post #1 of 45
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Differentiating itself from capped competitors Verizon and AT&T, Sprint is said to be planning to retain its unlimited data plans after it gets Apple's fifth-generation iPhone in the coming weeks.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported on Friday that the third-largest carrier in the U.S. will begin selling Apple's so-called "iPhone 5" in October, and will offer its customers unlimited data plans. New customers to AT&T and Verizon can only choose from tiered, capped data plans.

Sprint would be the only operator in America to offer the iPhone with unlimited data for a flat fee, if the rumor proves true. Sprint's unlimited voice and data plan is $99.99 per month, while AT&T offers 2 gigabytes of data for $25 a month, and Verizon offers 2 gigabytes for $30, all the way up to 10 gigabytes for $80.

The report revealed that the iPhone launch has apparently been used as a "retention tool" with Sprint executives, as the addition of Apple's hot-selling handset is expected to boost Sprint's stock price. The carrier is also said to have postponed the launch of a rival smartphone in September that would have accessed its high-speed 4G data network.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal first reported that Sprint would offer Apple's next iPhone at launch, alongside AT&T and Verizon. That would place Apple's smartphone on three of the largest four wireless carriers in the U.S.



The addition of Sprint is expected to add the sale of six million iPhones to Apple's bottom line in 2012. Verizon, which has offered the iPhone since February and is the largest carrier in the U.S., sold about 4.6 million iPhone 4 units in the first half of 2011.

When the iPhone first launched on Verizon, the carrier offered unlimited data plans, but those are no longer offered as of July 7. AT&T began capping data plans for new customers at a maximum of 2GB in June of 2010.
post #2 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Differentiating itself from capped competitors Verizon and AT&T, Sprint is said to be planning to retain its unlimited data plans after it gets Apple's fifth-generation iPhone in the coming weeks.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported on Friday that the third-largest carruer in the U.S. will begin selling Apple's so-called "iPhone 5" in October, and will offer its customers unlimited data plans. New customers to AT&T and Verizon can only choose from tiered, capped data plans.

Sprint would be the only operator in America to offer the iPhone with unlimited data for a flat fee, if the rumor proves true. Sprint's unlimited voice and data plan is $99.99 per month, while AT&T offers 2 gigabytes of data for $25 a month, and Verizon offers 2 gigabytes for $30, all the way up to 10 gigabytes for $80.

The report revealed that the iPhone launch has apparently been used as a "retention tool" with Sprint executives, as the addition of Apple's hot-selling handset is expected to boost Sprint's stock price. The carrier is also said to have postponed the launch of a rival smartphone in September that would have accessed its high-speed 4G data network.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal first reported that Sprint would offer Apple's next iPhone at launch, alongside AT&T and Verizon. That would place Apple's smartphone on three of the largest four wireless carriers in the U.S.



The addition of Sprint is expected to add the sale of six million iPhones to Apple's bottom line in 2012. Verizon, which has offered the iPhone since February and is the largest carrier in the U.S., sold about 4.6 million iPhone 4 units in the first half of 2011.

When the iPhone first launched on Verizon, the carrier offered unlimited data plans, but those are no longer offered as of July 7. AT&T began capping data plans for new customers at a maximum of 2GB in June of 2010.


I would like Sprint to keep the unlimited data plan and put the screws to Verizon and AT&T (especially AT&T). But they most likely will just drop the unlimited in year
post #3 of 45
what's the point of unlimited data if you don't have any coverage?
post #4 of 45
We'll see how long that lasts...
post #5 of 45
We have heard this story before. Like Android fanboys, they just don't get it. iPhone users actually use their phones for stuff.
post #6 of 45
It's like a restaurant offering all-you-can-eat, except that you are not allowed to eat everything.
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

We have heard this story before. Like Android fanboys, they just don't get it. iPhone users actually use their phones for stuff.

What are you talking about? The most recent Nielsen study shows Android users use more data than iPhone users, and the activities the phones were used for were pretty comparable.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/?p=27793
post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

What are you talking about? The most recent Nielsen study shows Android users use more data than iPhone users, and the activities the phones were used for were pretty comparable.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/?p=27793

1) This study ignores the iOS platform and only focuses on the iPhone.

2) This study appears to be an aggregate of all Android devices (which are almost entirely smartphones) v. all iPhones so Android would be higher because there are so many more units units activated.
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post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodie View Post

We'll see how long that lasts...

Exactly. Verizon said the same thing.

None of them has a clue as to what iPhone/iPad users consume by way of data. It doesn't hit them until they actually start to see it happening on their networks.
post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

what's the point of unlimited data if you don't have any coverage?

Because most Americans live in urbanized areas.

Also, many Americans spend most of their time in a compact geographical area. If you're not a long-haul truck driver, your daily commute is probably 10 minutes and you're spending most of your time at home and work (or school).

Thus, if you already have good Sprint network coverage where you live, then the Sprint iPhone would be a fine handset to consider.

Users of other cellular networks will have to do their research in terms of local (insert mobile operator name here) network coverage if they want to switch, but that's the same sort of due diligence that they would have to do, regardless of the handset.
post #11 of 45
Seeing as how AT&T finally put the kibosh on my contract-breaking tethering and now charge me an extra $20/month for a total of 4GB I will consider a jump to Sprint if they have unlimited.


Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

It's like a restaurant offering all-you-can-eat, except that you are not allowed to eat everything.

Or for as long as you want or share it with others yet they don't have you sign a huge license to eat at the buffet, yet somehow people just know the implied regulations.
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post #12 of 45
Remember that Sprint charges an additional $10/line fee for smartphones as a way to help make sure they can retain unlimited data plans. Add an extra $10 on top of every calling iPhone sold and they should rake it in. I don't think unlimited data is in danger w/Sprint.

As to the no coverage, where are you going in the US that you don't have coverage on Sprint? I travel around rural KY and Ohio and generally have signal. Free roaming for calls certainly helps. Data roaming will still ding ya, but I don't need to do that very often.
post #13 of 45
Sprint does not offer "Unlimited" for tethering plans.....
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Seeing as how AT&T finally put the kibosh on my contract-breaking tethering and now charge me an extra $20/month for a total of 4GB I will consider a jump to Sprint if they have unlimited.

Did you actually get an email from ATT, as mentioned before, or did you decide to drop your mywi tethering with jailbreaking? I have miwi, but only use it occasionally, and very little data at that (for my ipad2 when flying my plane), so I've never received any email from ATT - just assumed they were looking for heavy downloading to harrass with the email. Did you fall into that group, or did you just use your mywi for occasional tethering?

I'll have to give up my mywi for the iphone5, until they figure out how to jailbreak it, so will be without tethering for awhile (no big deal, since I tend to use my ipad2 on wifi about 99% of the time anyhow).
post #15 of 45
i've read that AT&T monitors their gateways for traffic that shouldn't be there. if a gateway is supposed to be used for smartphone internet traffic or youtube then it shouldn't have any MS Windows network chatter on it like port 445 traffic. people who tether out of their contract are easy to catch if they use a laptop. using an ipad is harder because it's essentially an iphone
post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Because most Americans live in urbanized areas.

Also, many Americans spend most of their time in a compact geographical area. If you're not a long-haul truck driver, your daily commute is probably 10 minutes and you're spending most of your time at home and work (or school).

Thus, if you already have good Sprint network coverage where you live, then the Sprint iPhone would be a fine handset to consider.

Users of other cellular networks will have to do their research in terms of local (insert mobile operator name here) network coverage if they want to switch, but that's the same sort of due diligence that they would have to do, regardless of the handset.

i live in NYC and sprint is crap. i've walked through midtown manhattan and had service cut out on me. don't even try to use it in queens or brooklyn


verizon is the best mostly because they own the best frequencies. AT&T is a very close second only because their indoor penetration isn't as good as VZW. Sprint and T-Mo are crap. the other day a friend with T-Mo was over my place. his mytouch 4g said edge. my verizon phone was on 3g and my at&t phone was on hspa+.
post #17 of 45
After the first million users sign up and begin to download video 24 hours a day, Sprint will think twice. No network is able to handle unlimited traffic by a majority of their users.
post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Did you actually get an email from ATT, as mentioned before, or did you decide to drop your mywi tethering with jailbreaking? I have miwi, but only use it occasionally, and very little data at that (for my ipad2 when flying my plane), so I've never received any email from ATT - just assumed they were looking for heavy downloading to harrass with the email. Did you fall into that group, or did you just use your mywi for occasional tethering?

I'll have to give up my mywi for the iphone5, until they figure out how to jailbreak it, so will be without tethering for awhile (no big deal, since I tend to use my ipad2 on wifi about 99% of the time anyhow).

I had been using MyWi for about 1.5 years. First I received an email which required me to contact AT&T within a specific time frame or I'd lose my Unlimited plan. I called, they explained the situation I played dumb.

I then switched to the much cheaper TetherMe app with apparently keeps AT&T from knowing the data is being tethered and uses the Personal Hotspot settings within iOS, which I liked. That worked for about 6 months then this past month my bill was charged an addition $15 +tax and had been moved to the 4GB+tethering plan.

I tried to keep my tethering down to a minimum in these last 6 months from 50-100GB to 2-4GB but that apparently wasn't good enough.

No worries. I took a risk against the contract I signed and got away with it since 2007-ish.
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post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I then switched to the much cheaper TetherMe app with apparently keeps AT&T from knowing the data is being tethered

Does TetherMe still (inaccurately) advertise that they can keep ATT from knowing your data usage? So much for that plan. I use so very little, that I hope they don't notice, and, like you, if they do, I will just give it up, since I can get by without tethering, and hope I can keep my unlimited plan. I doubt they will continue to allow this, especially when they get "true" 4G - that is when they will be salivating at the extra data charges they will inflict on EVERYONE. I can hear the howls already, which will be like the early days of voice roaming, when you could hear loud cursing at the outrageous charges. Data will be very lucrative for the telcos once 4G comes along. I will be happy to stay with 3G as long as they will let me. I'm more concerned with my wifi at home becoming a data limiting, money making proposition for Comcast and the other dumb pipes, and hope that Congress will step in before they start collecting the big bucks. After all, we GAVE the rights to lay the cables, etc, so I am all for keeping them from doing away with unlimited data over their dumb pipes into our homes, which smacks of class warfare against those who will not be able to afford limited data over their information devices. I think either Congress will step in at that time, or another technology (wireless/satellite, etc) will keep competitive pressure on the purveyors of dumb pipes. (we can always hope).
post #20 of 45
All of these stories of evading charges from the carriers and we still wonder why base rates are so high.
post #21 of 45
Will AT&T be able to detect that you are tethering an iPad to your iPhone using MyWi?

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post #22 of 45
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Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

All of these stories of evading charges from the carriers and we still wonder why base rates are so high.

Spare me your boyscout outrage: I have an unlimited plan on my iphone4: why should I pay for the same, exact data that I happen to choose to port through my ipad2 ? I am not using both at the same time, so it costs ATT or Verizon NOTHING extra to port through one or the other. It is, plain and simple, greed on the part of the carriers - nothing more. That is why MyWi, TetherMe, and others, came into being in the first place, and costs ATT/Verizon nothing extra for those folks who choose to decide where the data is displayed.

The carriers are racing to do away with unlimited plans altogether, so you will see the tethering charges disappear also, since the carriers will at that time care less where you port your data. Where will your outrage be directed then?
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Spare me your boyscout outrage: I have an unlimited plan on my iphone4: why should I pay for the same, exact data that I happen to choose to port through my ipad2 ? I am not using both at the same time, so it costs ATT or Verizon NOTHING extra to port through one or the other. It is, plain and simple, greed - nothing more. That is why MyWi, TetherMe, and others, came into being in the first place, and costs ATT/Verizon nothing extra for these users.

Because it's not part of your agreement. You it's not unlimited date for an unlimited amount of time for an unlimited number of devices for unlimited number of people. It specifically you can use unlimited data provided you use it on that device. That's the way it works.

We've chosen to violate our contracts and that's fine! but we are not no legally entitled to anything except what our license agreement states. I certainly don't feel AT&T did me wrong by finally cracking down. I wish i could have gotten away with for longer but 4 years is a pretty good run.
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post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Will AT&T be able to detect that you are tethering an iPad to your iPhone using MyWi?

Yes, that is how they find out, and start emailing those who seem to be excessive data downloaders. Don't know if they detect more tablet users, vs laptops, but I suspect it is the former.
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Will AT&T be able to detect that you are tethering an iPad to your iPhone using MyWi?

I'm certain that they will.

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post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Because it's not part of your agreement. You it's not unlimited date for an unlimited amount of time for an unlimited number of devices for unlimited number of people. It specifically you can use unlimited data provided you use it on that device. That's the way it works.

We've chosen to violate our contracts — and that's fine! — but we are not no legally entitled to anything except what our license agreement states. I certainly don't feel AT&T did me wrong by finally cracking down. I wish i could have gotten away with for longer but 4 years is a pretty good run.

Yeah, I understand the wording of the contract, I just bristle at the idea that it somehow costs ATT/Verizon more for one device or the other. I can see charging for multiple devices if it did, but it clearly doesn't. The only reason they have kept their unlimited plans this long is merely due to competition for new and renewal business, but hopefully, Sprint (and perhaps T-Mobile, if they get the iphone5) will keep unlimited plans in the mix of choices for the consumer. Moot point once they all do away with unlimited data, which is coming sooner than we like.
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Yeah, I understand the wording of the contract, I just bristle at the idea that it somehow costs ATT/Verizon more for one device or the other. I can see charging for multiple devices if it did, but it clearly doesn't. Moot point once they do away with unlimited data, which is coming sooner than we like.

1) I have a feeling they might not be allowing contracts to continued to be grandfathered in if you wish to upgrade to the iPhone 5 if you by it under contract.

2) At least for the additional charge of tethering they now give you an additional 2GB which offsets the cost exactly. Note they initially just charged you an extra $20 but still left you at 2GB, not 4GB.

3) I think there are bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Data is more costly than talk time and SMS yet SMS costs more per kilobyte than getting information to and from Hubble, and I am required to not only pay for talk time but also pay for 450 minutes which is about 400 more than I need per month. Those bother me a lot more.
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post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Seeing as how AT&T finally put the kibosh on my contract-breaking tethering and now charge me an extra $20/month for a total of 4GB I will consider a jump to Sprint if they have unlimited.

Me too.
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

It's like a restaurant offering all-you-can-eat, except that you are not allowed to eat everything.


Except that it is all-you-can-eat, as long as it is your phone eating it and not something else.

Sprint's documented 5GB cap is only for mobile broadband and has been that way since at least the evo 4g was released. I pretty consistently use 15+ GB of data on my sprint phone.

This should be good news for everyone. Hopefully this will be the added competition needed to drop the ridiculous 2GB cap on att/vzw. Even getting it back up to 5GB (which was the soft cap used in att's "unlimited" data plan) would be nice.
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrided View Post

Except that it is all-you-can-eat, as long as it is your phone eating it and not something else.

Sprint's documented 5GB cap is only for mobile broadband and has been that way since at least the evo 4g was released. I pretty consistently use 15+ GB of data on my sprint phone.

This should be good news for everyone. Hopefully this will be the added competition needed to drop the ridiculous 2GB cap on att/vzw. Even getting it back up to 5GB (which was the soft cap used in att's "unlimited" data plan) would be nice.

more likely i think it will send the heaviest users to Sprint and will make them kill the unlimited. it only works if a small minority of people use it

i bet VZW and the deathstar are actually hoping to drive away those users to AT&T

i looked at sprint and it's not worth switching. 4 line family plan is the same or more than what i pay at AT&T. i don't really use the ipod app anymore, i have spotify premium. for android i can just buy a 32GB sd card for my music instead of streaming
post #31 of 45
Sprint will probably announce unlimited data and also say that they will throttle the top 5% data guzzlers.

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post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I had been using MyWi for about 1.5 years. First I received an email which required me to contact AT&T within a specific time frame or I'd lose my Unlimited plan. I called, they explained the situation I played dumb.

I then switched to the much cheaper TetherMe app with apparently keeps AT&T from knowing the data is being tethered and uses the Personal Hotspot settings within iOS, which I liked. That worked for about 6 months then this past month my bill was charged an addition $15 +tax and had been moved to the 4GB+tethering plan.

I tried to keep my tethering down to a minimum in these last 6 months from 50-100GB to 2-4GB but that apparently wasn't good enough.

No worries. I took a risk against the contract I signed and got away with it since 2007-ish.

I don't understand why you go through all this trouble to cheat the system. From what we have learned from you is that you retired in your thirties, do a lot of traveling, never wear the same socks twice, not to mention the more than we need to know hygiene products you use, all of which leads us to believe you have plenty of disposable income yet you are nickel and dime-ing the phone company. Sheesh... I don't even read my phone bills, I just have the bookkeeper pay them.

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post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Will AT&T be able to detect that you are tethering an iPad to your iPhone using MyWi?

Apparently, since several of my friends were doing exactly and got their unlimited plans switched on them. When they tried to complain, they were referred to the terms for the iPhone which said ATT can adjust charges for tethering, not having a data plan etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

more likely i think it will send the heaviest users to Sprint and will make them kill the unlimited. it only works if a small minority of people use it

Perhaps. But I also thick they will pull a T-Mobile and it will turn out that after the first xGB you will be speed throttled, perhaps again after another xGB and so on

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post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Spare me your boyscout outrage: I have an unlimited plan on my iphone4: why should I pay for the same, exact data that I happen to choose to port through my ipad2 ? I am not using both at the same time, so it costs ATT or Verizon NOTHING extra to port through one or the other. It is, plain and simple, greed on the part of the carriers - nothing more. That is why MyWi, TetherMe, and others, came into being in the first place, and costs ATT/Verizon nothing extra for those folks who choose to decide where the data is displayed.

The carriers are racing to do away with unlimited plans altogether, so you will see the tethering charges disappear also, since the carriers will at that time care less where you port your data. Where will your outrage be directed then?

Rather strong reaction there. The price is what it is because it's based on tethering not being allowed. If we insist on the "free" option of tethering, the base price is going to be higher. It only makes sense as total usage is going to be higher one way or the other if multiple devices are allowed under the same fee.
post #35 of 45
Wow, a sensible response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Because most Americans live in urbanized areas.

Also, many Americans spend most of their time in a compact geographical area. If you're not a long-haul truck driver, your daily commute is probably 10 minutes and you're spending most of your time at home and work (or school).

Thus, if you already have good Sprint network coverage where you live, then the Sprint iPhone would be a fine handset to consider.

Users of other cellular networks will have to do their research in terms of local (insert mobile operator name here) network coverage if they want to switch, but that's the same sort of due diligence that they would have to do, regardless of the handset.
post #36 of 45
That is because you are a pussified american consumer who doesn't mind being raped just for the sake of being raped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I certainly don't feel AT&T did me wrong by finally cracking down. I wish i could have gotten away with for longer but 4 years is a pretty good run.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Rather strong reaction there. The price is what it is because it's based on tethering not being allowed. If we insist on the "free" option of tethering, the base price is going to be higher. It only makes sense as total usage is going to be higher one way or the other if multiple devices are allowed under the same fee.

Fallacious assumption: you assume that just because I choose to have my data ported to my ipad that I will use more data - wrong. You also assume (perhaps not) that it costs more to tether (it doesn't, and only uses a bit more battery life from the tethering device, so I'm told). I use MyWi tethering exclusively to get weather nexrad images just before flights. I can get the same weather updates on my iphone4 that I do on my ipad2, but it is more convenient to use the ipad, due to the larger display. On those occasional times when I want it to display on the ipad, why should I pay more than I do on the iphone for data that is merely re-routed from the iphone to the ipad? Now, if I was downloading movies or a data hog on the larger format device (a valid point), it would make sense, and that supposedly is why ATT and Verizon want separate contracts on each device.

However, ATT does not provide a pay-as-you-go option for tethering. It is a capped monthly plan that is too expensive for the occasional user like myself, and too expensive for the intensive data downloader, who would easily exceed the plan limits, so its only reason for being it to extract as much money from as many folks as possible). Really...who is nickel and diming here.

It is really no trouble to jailbreak your phone and use MyWi (the only reason I need to jailbreak it), so why criticize those who do it for a legitimate reason, primarly based on principal and convenience. Don't get me started on how ATT has tried to screw us over time and time again over the years. No contest here, I have spent too many hours on the phone getting fraudulent charges reversed from ATT over the years to ever feel the slightest pang of guilt or shed a tear over my inconsequential tethering.
post #38 of 45
T-Mobile's approach is better then AT&T and Verizon's approach. With T-Mobile after a certain amount of data, the speed is slowed from 3G to 2G speeds. I'd rather have that then a strict cap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Perhaps. But I also thick they will pull a T-Mobile and it will turn out that after the first xGB you will be speed throttled, perhaps again after another xGB and so on
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

That is because you are a pussified american consumer who doesn't mind being raped just for the sake of being raped.



As though we can do anything about it.

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There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

That is because you are a pussified american consumer who doesn't mind being raped just for the sake of being raped.

That's awfully strong language from you, TBell. The difference between me and others is that I don't feel a sense of entitlement. I made an agreement, I broke an agreement and got away with it as long as I possibly could. Same thing with driving over the speed limit or parking longer than your meter is paid for. You weigh the risks and take a chance.

What other options are there for users in the US? To force carriers over the space of the contiguous US plus Hawaii to act as if they are a small and dense country like the Netherlands? That's just ridiculous!
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