AT&T changes iPad data plans, now less for less

As part of their attempt to reboot the matrix of US data rates today, AT&T also altered those "groundbreaking" iPad data plan rates Steve Jobs announced back in February. Existing customers can keep their existing plans, but new customers will get less for less:

For new iPad customers, the $25 per month 2 GB plan will replace the existing $29.99 unlimited plan. iPad customers will continue to pre-pay for their wireless data plan and no contract is required. Existing iPad customers who have the $29.99 per month unlimited plan can keep that plan or switch to the new $25 per month plan with 2 GB of data.

Anyone going to save the $5 and make the switch?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

AT&T changes iPad data plans, now less for less


Even tho I probably don't come close to using 2GB of data, not having unlimited will make me paranoid about usage. I'm glad I'm grandfathered in! I'm keeping the unlimited.

Disappointed to see this. $20 with option to pay $30 for unlimited would be nice. $25 with no option for unlimited (if you're not grandfathered in) kinda sucks.

Have had my iPad for a few weeks. If I am forced to go with the new plan just because I have not signed up yet It will make my decision about iphone and ATT simple. Stay Verizon. By changing my rates less than one month in is very dishonest. I truly hope that by just having an iPad I am grandfathered. Otherwise ATT needes to take a hard look in the integrity mirror.

umm.. how is this gonna affect people getting new iphone? i plan on getting myself one plus my mom one.. i already have a 3gs so im not worried about my line but is her line gonna get all screwed over?

I'm excited about the tethering because it's the lowest-cost option for the non-jailbreaker to connect my wifi-only iPad. I use wifi at home and work and simply need occasional access to browsing and some audio streaming while somewhere else.

I have the unlimited plan but I wonder if I pause (cancel) for one month, I will be able to continue with my original unlimited plan at a later date?
That is the only reason why I bought the iPad 3G, connectivity everywhere....unlimited.

For those considering Verizon, they're the ones who started talking about data caps. They'll be following along.

@UntidyGuy, not sure it would work? iPhone does official tethering either by USB or BT PAN profile- it's not a WiFi hotspot. You'll be able to tether your laptop, but I don't think your iPad (or any other non-Mac/PC WiFi device). Apple support specifically mentions that Internet tethering is not supported on iPad or iPod Touch.

Wishful thinking: maybe new iPhone will offer WiFi hotspot functionality if you're on either of the new plans? Nah, I doubt it.

I was planning on getting an iPad 3G. I won't now. And after this, that EVO 4G Sprint's waving around that is released this week is looking better and better. I'll be cancelling yet another iPhone. Thanks AT&T for taking a great product and pairing it with your questionable service. Now we are limited in how much crappy bandwidth we get. Nice.

For us original iPag 3G owners, will we still be able to 'pause' our unlimited data plans for $29.99 a month for those months we won't need the 3G? That's the way it was advertised. Or will we have to convert over to the crappy 2 gig per month plan when we want to get back our 3G after taking a break?

sukk$ A$$ --I wanted to get this for travel--Streaming netflix will surely eat up the measly 2GB--Now I will have to tether with my Palm Pre Plus --guess I won't be getting the 3G version of the iPad--I'll save some mullah and cop the $499 version

I spoke with 3 AT&T reps. One said the iPad plans would change but the other two said the plans would NOT change.
They wouldn't believe any website source unless it was an AT&T site or linked to one that corroborated this claim.
This is a ridiculous state of affairs where we can't trust these websites (TiPb, PC World, etc.) and can't even trust the first AT&T rep we speak to.
If this rumor turn out to be true, I am going to be seriously pissed off. Luring us in with one plan and then changing the rules of the game just after a month is bad form.

So now I'm screwed. I've been waiting for my ipad 3g for a week now and its not scheduled to come till the 11th. Now I don't get the unlimited plan? Wtf? I hope they make it retro active for th people who hve been waiting for their ipads!

Sooooo happy I went with the wifi model. Tethered to my "grandfathered" iPhone unlimited data plan using MyWi. I used 5gb last month and most of that was tethered to my iPad.

I totally get why they would do this - providing unlimited anything can be a recipie for trouble, especially as devicesuse increasing amounts of data every year. It's like starting an unlimited buffet restaurant and finding that people eat five times as much a year later. It's either raise the unlimited price for cap the amount of food.
That said, I'm surprised that they would do this so soon after making the plans a big part of the ipad announcement. SHould have gotten their sh&t together first.
Seems to me that anyone who ORDERED an ipad before the new plans were announced should be eligible for the data plans available when ordered for some period of time.
My ipad is arriving in two days - I had planned of starting with the smaller plan then upgrading to the unlimited if needed. Now, assuming they are right about these starting June 7th, I'm going to start with the unlimited plan then back down if I don't need it. But I think I an anyone who ordered after mw but before this annoucement should have like 6 months to pick the unlimited plan if they want it. Seems only fair.

We need a decision from Steve Jobs right now - 2gb or not 2gb?
AT&T is using old device data usage to justify their new un-un-limited data plan for iPad.
The whole point of iPad is extreme data usage - duhh!
Video streaming alone would bust 2gb fast. And AT7T did not mention any added gbs after the third one for $10, did they?
Want to pay $25 to watch an HD movie?
Rewatch the Steve Jobs launch of the iPad. What does it promise?

I ordered a 3g on the 22nd of May and it isn't arriving until the 10th of June. This is bait and switch of the highest order. I'll certainly be taking it back and getting a full refund from the Apple store if orders prior to this farce dont have the ability to get the unlimited plan. So many of you are right - it's been a month with 3g and they have changed the rules. Shame on AT&T and Apple.

I purchased the 3G model of the iPad specifically because they advertised that you could get the unlimited plan when needed and did not need a contract. I have not needed 3G yet but planned on using it when traveling this summer. I think what AT&T is proposing completely STINKS, and I hope everyone complains ad infinitum until they wake up & treat their customers with some shred of integrity. Shame on Steve Jobs too for this obviously false advertising!

I have Att's unlimited data plan but I does anyone know if I pause (cancel) for one month, I will be able to continue with my original unlimited data plan when I restart my plan?

Don't bad mouth AT&T please. Verizon is just as greedy. They no longer have an unlimited plan for the iPad. I'm switching to Virgin Mobile unlimited data MIFI for $40 a month. Screw Verizon and AT&T - greedy bas****ds.