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Are you thinking of getting a new iPhone 3G next month? Do you like to send/receive text messages? If you’re thinking of lining up on July 11, you’ve already budgeted the $30/month for the data plan. But did you know that you should also select a […]

Are you thinking of getting a new iPhone 3G next month? Do you like to send/receive text messages? If you’re thinking of lining up on July 11, you’ve already budgeted the $30/month for the data plan. But did you know that you should also select a separate messaging plan?

From Om Malik’s interview with Ralph de la Vega, President & Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Mobility (emphasis mine):

OM: Has there been a change in the cost of data plans?

RDLV: The data plans are different on the 3G iPhone versus the 2G iPhone. Consumers will pay $30 a month every month, while enterprises will pay $45 a month. This is what you pay us on other PDA devices such as Blackberry Curve. The SMS messages are not bundled anymore, and you pay for what you want. Again the prices are based on what you buy.

What he neglects to mention is that the $45 PDA plan for BlackBerry is also available to consumers (it’s the plan I have on my BlackBerry 8800) and that it includes 1500 text messages.

How much more will this set you back? AT&T will charge you $0.20 per message sent and received if you don’t have a plan that includes messages. It adds up quickly. No warning until the bill comes. No way of returning unwanted messages to sender. Plans start at $5 per month for 200 messages, going to $20 per month for unlimited messages. That’s on top of the data and voice plan.

The old iPhone rate plan was $20 per month and included 200 messages.

  1. Heh. Well that takes some of the bloom off that rose. And it’s making me think I LIKE my iPhone and the 2.0 updates will do just fine, thank you :)

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  2. I have to second that. I was thinking of upgrading but giving me less for more just isn’t worth it. This is how AT&T makes up for not sharing the iPhone revenue anymore. I can understanding charging the same data rate as for other PDAs but no SMS included it just too much.

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  3. Ok, now this sucks. Might as well keep my Blackjack I.

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  4. Guess that’s to make up for the new low price! I don’t like that they’re basically forcing you into buying a plan by charging so much for received messages…considering how much money most iPhone users will already spend relative to other customers, it just seems cheap on AT&T’s part.

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  5. It’s a bummer, but it just puts the iPhone monthly charges on a level playing field with every other 3G smartphone AT&T offers. They’re subsidizing the phone now, and they’ve got to get their money back somehow. Plans are $5 for 200 messages, $15 for 1500 messages (which works out to the exact same cost as the Blackberry), and $20 for unlimited messages. I can see how existing iPhone owners would be disappointed, but I think a lot of people will be happy that they’ll have to pay less upfront now to buy an iPhone.

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  6. [...] for a data plan that used to cost $20/mo ($45/mo for business users), they’ll also have to pay  an extra $5-$20 more per month for SMS because they’re not bundled anymore, and those who want MobileMe will pay $99 a year [...]

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  7. OK by me, I hardly ever use SMS. If you’re somewhere you can’t talk and the other person has an email equipped phone too, why not just use email?

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  8. The thing that really bothers me is you are getting charged the same price for the texting plan as all other users and yet the iPhone is one of the few phones that does not have MMS. I can almost understand charging something more considering you could be sending video, audio, or pictures with MMS, but when the iphone can only send straight texts should it really be an extra charge? Really though I can’t understand how they can still charge extra for SMS/MMS at all. If you have unlimited data, what really is a text other than data.

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  9. At&t has two different PDA/Blackberry plans. One is Consumer for $30 and the other is Enterprise for $45. If you have the consumer data plan and 1500 text messages it does indeed cost $45, but that doesn’t make it the Enterprise data plan. The Enterprise data plan includes only data, including the ability to connect to an Exchange server (or Blackberry Enterprise Server). It’s true that there are a few others, but essentially they are the cost of the data plan plus the cost of the SMS/MMS package bundled together.

    Also to Damien, the SMS messages are sent through the voice side of the network. Even if you have no internet plan, you can still send SMS messages. Not that it still couldn’t be free, but it is different from email or webpages.

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  10. Kenneth, I spent a bit of time digging into this the past few days, and as far as I can tell, AT&T and Apple have yet to make a definitive statement about whether there are going to be feature differences between the personal and business data plans *for the iPhone*. If you’ve found a solid list, let us know – it seems reasonable to assume that the plans will be in line with the existing Blackberry/PDA plans, but that’s as yet unconfirmed.

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