AT&T data changes seen as benefit for BlackBerry over iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
AT&T's removal of unlimited data plans for new iPhone customers hurts Apple's iPhone, despite the lower prices, and helps competitor Research in Motion's line of BlackBerry handsets, one prominent analyst believes.



Facing increasing demands on its network, AT&T "blinked" first, Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets said Wednesday. Now, the carrier's announced move a $25 monthly fee for 2GB of data (a change from unlimited plans at $30 a month) could be followed in kind by Verizon.



If Verizon does follow suit, it would follow a pattern seen earlier this year, when AT&T took only hours to match a $30 price drop for unlimited voice plans.



Abramsky said that AT&T's change could expand the market for smartphones by offering cheaper data plans to attract more entry-level users. The implementation of a restrictive cap would also allow carriers to introduce more data consumptive services with less fear of a tax on the network. AT&T's 2GB cap in particular will allow the carrier to "clamp down" on users who use a disproportionate amount of bandwidth.



The data plan changes will also be a benefit to users of RIM's BlackBerry line of smartphones, which typically use much less data than iPhone users, Abramsky said.



"In Canada and Europe, price-sensitive smartphone customers already do more on BlackBerry under data caps (iPhone avg. 250-500MB/mo. vs. RIM at 50MB)," Abramsky wrote in a note to investors. "Now, as RIM is poised to unveil BlackBerry 6 on new smartphones with improved browsing and UI, BlackBerry users may realize they can 'do more' under caps vs. iPhone (e.g. 3x browsing) -- while some iPhone/Android users may suffer from 'bill shock' if they breach caps unintentionally (particularly business users, who tend to use more data."



Abramsky said AT&T could increase its support for BlackBerry, because RIM's devices use less bandwidth than the iPhone. He said it's also possible that features like video chat could become more expensive for iPhone users, while AT&T could offer more attractive pricing for those who use a BlackBerry.



Heavy bandwidth use by iPhone owners led The New York Times to call Apple's handset the "Hummer of cellphones," comparing it to the gas-guzzling vehicle. AT&T has made efforts to improve its network over the last year, but even Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said this week that he believes the wireless carrier "could do better" in some respects. Even Jobs admitted that AT&T deals with "way more data traffic than anyone else" due to the iPhone.



AT&T has hinted for some time that changes to its unlimited data plans were on the horizon, as the company has faced network issues and bandwidth problems. The carrier has sought ways to encourage the heaviest bandwidth consumers to reduce or modify their usage of the AT&T network.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    So instead of fixing their crappy network, their solution is to charge more for their crappy network.
  • Reply 2 of 95
    alandailalandail Posts: 689member
    what are people doing with their phones that 2G wouldn't be enough data? I use my iPhone all of the time and my history shows I've never gone over 400 megs, and typically am under 200 megs.
  • Reply 3 of 95
    stevegmustevegmu Posts: 539member
    Win-win. Cheaper pricing, faster speeds, as the data hogs will go elsewhere.
  • Reply 4 of 95
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    So instead of fixing their crappy network, their solution is to charge more for their crappy network.



    They have been fixing their network and part of their solution is to make it cheaper, faster and more reliable for most of their users.
  • Reply 5 of 95
    aybaraaybara Posts: 28member
    What I don't understand is that all the HEAVY users are already on AT&Ts network and they will be grandfathered in and able to keep the $30/mo unlimited plan and continue to keep raping AT&Ts network.



    So in reality, this really does nothing.
  • Reply 6 of 95
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    AT&T's removal of unlimited data plans for new iPhone customers hurts Apple's iPhone, despite the lower prices, and helps competitor Research in Motion's line of BlackBerry handsets, one prominent analyst believes.



    The data plan changes will also be a benefit to users of RIM's BlackBerry line of smartphones, which typically use much less data than iPhone users, Abramsky said.



    "In Canada and Europe, price-sensitive smartphone customers already do more on BlackBerry under data caps (iPhone avg. 250-500MB/mo. vs. RIM at 50MB)," Abramsky wrote in a note to investors. "Now, as RIM is poised to unveil BlackBerry 6 on new smartphones with improved browsing and UI, BlackBerry users may realize they can 'do more' under caps vs. iPhone (e.g. 3x browsing) -- while some iPhone/Android users may suffer from 'bill shock' if they breach caps unintentionally (particularly business users, who tend to use more data."



    Abramsky said AT&T could increase its support for BlackBerry, because RIM's devices use less bandwidth than the iPhone. He said it's also possible that features like video chat could become more expensive for iPhone users, while AT&T could offer more attractive pricing for those who use a BlackBerry.



    This is bull. No customer I know of would pick a BlackBerry over an iPhone because they can "do more" under the caps. BBs can't do half of what the iPhone can, and this analyst is just trying to push Apple stock down.
  • Reply 7 of 95
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,458member
    The article notes a very key point. Blackberry spent their entire developers conference discussing superapps and how the fact all Blackberry data goes through their servers means it is compressed and optimized to reduce the network load.



    This means that Blackberry is going to be touting the fact their their phones will almost assuredly get by with the lower priced 400 meg/$15 plan while all the SUV phones will cost you more. How much more? Well before that could be understood to be $15 more a month which most of us Apple users are more than happy to pay. However now it could be... well who know... use the 5 gig limit you used before and now the iPhone is $40 more a month.



    I'm not saying it is logical, but when dealing with FUD, those demanding the "REAL INTERNET" from the "HUMMER" of smart phones might have a leg or two knocked out of their arguments.
  • Reply 8 of 95
    steffisteffi Posts: 16member
    Just think how iAd is going to work? They are going to push advertising to your iphone that essentially uses up your limited quota for the month. That's going to be met with a lot of resistance.
  • Reply 9 of 95
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    They have been fixing their network and part of their solution is to make it cheaper, faster and more reliable for most of their users.



    These price changes are great for the iPhone, I personally think (especially due to lower entry cost for switchers), but very detrimental for the iPad. I understand that when watching Netflix movies and other high-data tasks you are usually near a WiFi network, but the point of 3G is so you can do those things when no WiFi is around. 2GB is a very small amount for an iPad user's video and data needs. I know I don't speak for everyone, but I believe that easily at least 30-40% of iPad 3G users use more that 2GB per month. I know of several who use around a gigabyte a day!
  • Reply 10 of 95
    jbravo556jbravo556 Posts: 11member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    AT&T's removal of unlimited data plans for new iPhone customers hurts Apple's iPhone, despite the lower prices, and helps competitor Research in Motion's line of BlackBerry handsets, one prominent analyst believes.



    That's just hogwash.



    I believe that all signs are leading to AT&T losing the iPhone exclusivity. They're starting to treat it like any other smartphone. First they raise the early termination fees and now they cancel the iPhone's plans and replace them with kind of crappy ones. They removed all the of the iPhones advantages on their network.



    To me, that says they're losing exclusivity.
  • Reply 11 of 95
    steffisteffi Posts: 16member
    I don't expect those plans to be available when you renew your service agreement. They are probably contractually obligated to honor the remaining portion of the agreement but not thereafter.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aybara View Post


    What I don't understand is that all the HEAVY users are already on AT&Ts network and they will be grandfathered in and able to keep the $30/mo unlimited plan and continue to keep raping AT&Ts network.



    So in reality, this really does nothing.



  • Reply 12 of 95
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aybara View Post


    What I don't understand is that all the HEAVY users are already on AT&Ts network and they will be grandfathered in and able to keep the $30/mo unlimited plan and continue to keep raping AT&Ts network.



    So in reality, this really does nothing.



    It sounds like you're saying that since it won't knock off all heavy users AT&T should just keep allowing more heavy users to join their network. That makes no sense If you are going to make changes you have to start them at some time and you can't simply boot everyone off your network and start from scratch.



    With a tethering option in place, if AT&T can prove you are illegally tethering, the only real way to abuse their network, then they can boot you. I've never seen them do that or throttle your usage, but with these new plans in place it wouldn't be too hard to do so. If they lose a few of the heavy users that way, no big deal.
  • Reply 13 of 95
    edmalloyedmalloy Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post


    So instead of fixing their crappy network, their solution is to charge more for their crappy network.



    Their response is to charge LESS for the continually improving network. Do you really think that Verizon's ancient network could handle the amount of traffic on AT&T's network.



    Also



    did the dimwitted analyst cited in this "story" ever stop to think that Blackberrys use less MgB's because they cannot do all the things that an iPhone does?



    ed
  • Reply 14 of 95
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jbravo556 View Post


    To me, that says they're losing exclusivity.



    Note that losing exclusivity, even unlocking the iPhone, doesn't mean it will be available on other networks.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by steffi View Post


    I don't expect those plans to be available when you renew your service agreement. They are probably contractually obligated to honor the remaining portion of the agreement but not thereafter.



    I read that they will allow you to keep the same deal if you buy the upcoming iPhone.



    PS: They are not contractually obligated to honour the contract. You, the customer, sign it to protect them from loss of fees with your subsidized device. Cellular carriers have ripped up contracts before, the benefit for the consumer (some consumers) is that you longer have to pay and ETF fee if you wish to stop using that carrier.
  • Reply 15 of 95
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by steffi View Post


    Just think how iAd is going to work? They are going to push advertising to your iphone that essentially uses up your limited quota for the month. That's going to be met with a lot of resistance.



    I'd rather have iAds than Flash ads.
  • Reply 16 of 95
    macologistmacologist Posts: 264member
    A pissed ATT customer emailed ATT's CEO, and got a Threatening Phone Call from ATT!!!!



    http://bit.ly/a6VFsI



    Imagine if Apple made that call? Media would be all over Apple for that!
  • Reply 17 of 95
    tobiwantobiwan Posts: 71member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    what are people doing with their phones that 2G wouldn't be enough data? I use my iPhone all of the time and my history shows I've never gone over 400 megs, and typically am under 200 megs.



    If you stream a lot you will use data up. A friend that I work with listens to stitcher radio app and local talk radio stream daily and he uses close to 3 gb a month.



    Which if we are going to a cloud to retrieve all of our iTunes library then caps will limit the use of streaming. Also the Netflix app for the iPhone should be out soon and that will seriously use bandwidth.



    I use wifi anytime I am near it as the speed is much better. Others will just need to do this as well.
  • Reply 18 of 95
    extremeskaterextremeskater Posts: 2,248member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    They have been fixing their network and part of their solution is to make it cheaper, faster and more reliable for most of their users.



    I believe this is going to benefit both BB and the entire Android market. I believe its unfair for ATT to single out the iPhone like this and really knock down the data plan.



    Then again no one has to be fair in business.



    However Verizon is not much better in fact they are getting worse charging 9.99 for 20mb of data which would pretty much push anyone that wants a decent phone to their unlimited plan. Seeing 20mb of data is a joke.



    Then again if I remember correctly Android phones may also hog data.
  • Reply 19 of 95
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,284member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    what are people doing with their phones that 2G wouldn't be enough data? I use my iPhone all of the time and my history shows I've never gone over 400 megs, and typically am under 200 megs.



    Couldn't agree more. These folks have obviously never heard of wifi.
  • Reply 20 of 95
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,348member
    Maybe we will learn something relevant on the 7th.
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