Monday, August 2, 2010

Steve Jobs, We Need Alternatives To ATT - They Charge Us Too Much For Data

ATT has made truckloads of money off iPhone users, loyal Apple fans, who love the products that Apple makes but we've suffered greatly at the hands of an inept wireless providers.

Heck, even Steve Jobs has thought more than once to ditch the exclusivity deal with Ma Bell. And this should be the last draw: iPad users in the US pay more for data than most other users in the world. How much more?

Now, Apple is free to make any kind of deal it wants. Apple has benefited financially with record revenue increases after record revenue increases. But there is a lawsuit pending regarding the Apple-ATT deal. I'm not an attorney but the news that only 5 other carriers in the world charge their users more than ATT charges its iPad users sounds like ammunition for the plaintiffs.

More information can be found at Wired. But when you click over to the page, note what English users are being charged. Britain has six iPhone providers competing for subscribers. Though only 4 are presented on the chart, dollars per GB range from a low of $2.34 to a high of $7.80.

So, let's take a look at the countries with multiple iPhone carriers:
  • Britain - $2.34 to $7.80
  • Ireland - $5.20 to $5.23
  • Spain - $1.52 to $1.62
  • Australia - $7.48 to $11.22
  • Austria - $1.31 to $4.35
  • Germany - $1.09 to $1.30
Surprisingly, I thought Rogers would charge one of the biggest rip-off rates but it comes in at about half what ATT rips off its users.  So it doesn't explain some of the countries with only one Apple sanctioned carrier:
  • Japan - $1.12
  • Hong Kong - $.72
  • Singapore - $51
Imagine if Apple adds Sprint or T-Mobile to its ranks of iPhone carriers in North America, we can see a significantly lower rate even from ATT due to competitive pressure.  And this is even before we consider what Verizon can bring to the table.  I do see Sprint and T-Mobile continue to provide unlimited data plans to compete for post-paid subscribers.

So you can see, American iPhone and iPad users have over paid and the pattern of countries with just one carrier shows.  With the exception of a couple, most overcharge their users.  Luxembourg and Belgium tied for the second and third spot while France's Orange tops the chart at $25.47. (I don't understand why Netherlands has two carriers but charge its users a whopping $19.56 and $19.59.)

Concrete evidence shows that Apple has another year of exclusivity with ATT. However, maybe it's just hope but there is a lot of evidence in the market that indicates the we might see the iPhone on another network soon.

More at Wired.

Note: There's going to be a lot of rumors between now and June of 2011. I love rumors but nothing happens unless Apple says so.

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