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Summary:

Love it or hate it, AT&T’s new usage-based smartphone data plans fire up on June 7th. That means there’s still time to buy an iPhone or iPad to gain the current unlimited data offerings. Are any of you planning to hurry up and buy one?

Perhaps the most polarizing news in these parts of late is around AT&T’s new smartphone data plan changes, which the carrier unveiled yesterday. Some customers are happy that they’ll be saving up to $15 a month with reduced plan pricing, while others aren’t thrilled to hear that unlimited data is going away in favor of 200 MB or 2 GB buckets with overage charges. Those in the latter camp might appreciate the facetious tweet of Rahul Sood, founder of VoodooPC: “Look on the bright side AT&T customers, your data is STILL unlimited, it’s your bill that was uncapped.”

But the new rate plans don’t take effect until June 7, so there’s still a wee bit of time for new customers to nab an iPhone or iPad under the current unlimited plan offerings. Considering the expectation of a possible front-facing video camera that’s sure to gobble up data on AT&T’s network, it just might make sense to buy a current iPhone 3GS to gain the unlimited data contract and hope you can return the old model for a new one next week. The newest iPhone hardware is widely expected to launch at Apple’s WWDC event next Monday, the same day the new AT&T tiered pricing plans kick in.

Meanwhile iPad owners, which watch three times more video on their Apple device than on others, seem the most miffed, and with good reason. Apple announced an innovative, unlimited AT&T data plan specific to the iPad when it introduced the device in January, which goes by the wayside with this new data plan.

So who’s buying an iPhone or iPad between now and Monday?

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  1. [...] Poll: Who’s Buying an iPhone or iPad Before AT&T’s New Rate Plan … Love it or hate it, AT&T’s new usage-based smartphone data plans fire up on June 7th. That means there’s still time to buy an iPhone or iPad to gain the current unlimited data offerings. Are any of you planning to hurry up and buy one? http://gigaom.com/ — Thu, 03 Jun 2010 14:30:05 -0700 [...]

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  2. I’m thinking of getting the iPad 3G to use the GPS. I would sell my current Wi-Fi iPad. Not to worry about the new data plans, because I am using a MiFi. But would ne nice to get it before the 7 and lock in the Unlimited plan just in case I ever use it.

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    1. That’s a tough one, HG. Is the $130 really worth it for the GPS? My other concern: as I understand it, you may have to buy the data plan and have it auto-renew in order to keep it unlimited. If that is indeed the case, you might be better off with the Wi-Fi model and your MiFi.

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      1. Good point Kevin, about maybe having to have the data going on after you sign up. I haven’t found anything on that yet. If not I can continue to use the MiFi with it. I know 130.00 more just for GPS is steep. If I tell myself to look at it like this. 65.00 3G + 65.00 for GPS, then it doesn’t look too bad. :) I have tried to look for other ways that maybe a BT GPS puck can be used on the iPad but nothing will work because the iPad’s BT doesn’t support serial like a BT GPS does. I’m on the road for work daily and can take advantage of the GPS. Right now the WiFi with Google maps does ok to check traffic. I have another app called Beat The Traffic but takes a long time to find my location, and at times I have to fire up Google Maps, then let it locate me and then close that and go back to Beat The Traffic to find me.

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      2. Good point Kevin, about maybe having to have the data going on after you sign up. I haven’t found anything on that yet. If not I can continue to use the MiFi with it. I know 130.00 more just for GPS is steep. If I tell myself to look at it like this. 65.00 3G + 65.00 for GPS, then it doesn’t look too bad. :) I have tried to look for other ways that maybe a BT GPS puck can be used on the iPad but nothing will work because the iPad’s BT doesn’t support serial like a BT GPS does. I’m on the road for work daily and can take advantage of the GPS. Right now the WiFi with Google maps does ok to check traffic. I have another app called Beat The Traffic but takes a long time to find my location, and at times I have to fire up Google Maps, then let it locate me and then close that and go back to Beat The Traffic to find me. I will have to give this a little bit more thought now.

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      3. HG, you can use a BT GPS dongle with roqyGPS software. You’ll need to be jailbroken though (obviously)

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    2. I’ll tell you one thing. It’s nice having the instant on Internet where coverage is good. But on a recent road trip having GPS was worthless. AT&T service is so spotty and some areas nonexistent not even edge coverage in others. In order to have a bearing on where you going you need to turn off satellite view and strictly map because if your in satellite and you lose coverage all you will have to go by is a line on a screen. AT&T is so worthless. My Sprint Palm Pre on the other hand had continuous EVDO coverage throughout my trip. I crossed the 250MB point 2 weeks into my unlimited plan. If you have the means to get one (iPad 3G sold out everywhere) hopefully you’ll be in a good coverage area when you use it. GPS/ Google maps + AT&T not worth it. Instant on in good coverage area is awesome to have.

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  3. DimeAdozenIdeas Thursday, June 3, 2010

    I hear that there is a new hardware startup focussed on bringing “mobile phone” enabled iPhone covers to customers globally.

    Features:

    1. Actually works as a phone.
    2. Uses Bluetooth technology to circumvent Apple connector licensing terms and fees guaranteeing that this product has a go to market strategy at a reasonable price.
    3. Free with activation and 2yr contract. Unlocked $200.
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  4. The iPad data plan promised by Apple and AT&T lasted less than 40 days. Time will tell who gets the last laugh.

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  5. If there were an option for “I switched carriers because AT&T was already too expensive, and now I’ll really never go back,” I’d choose that one.

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  6. I tried, but apparently there aren’t any iPad 3G to be found anywhere within a 250-mile radius of San Jose, where I live. Guess I’m SOL.

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  7. Nope.

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  8. Tempted, but probably won’t. I have the unlimited plan on the iPhone now and can survive on that. I hope. I didn’t upgrade past whatever version let you tether, so in theory I can do that without paying the extra fee, for the moment. But I watch the reception drop dramatically whenever I try to tether, so it’s technically useless.

    I want an iPad-like device, but one that doesn’t throttle me in terms of Flash and the mobile Safari browser, so it’s been tough to hold out, because I do love Slinging and watching video and listening to music on the iPhone, so I bet I would love the goodness coming from the iPad too.

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  9. I picked up a 64 gig 3G today and gave the wife my wifi iPad.

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  10. If I purchase a new iPhone (G4) at full retail price, since I’m not signing a contract, will I have to switch my unlimited plan?

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    1. As I understand it, no. If you already have an unlimited data plan, you will be allowed to grandfather it to an iPhone 4.0 version.

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