AT&T Roundup: Data Plan Dropping $10? Saturation Nigh? Taking on Staff Pre-WWDC?

AT&T Mouth of Sauron Speaks!

Apple Insider has a pair of reports up, the first of which cites one analyst following up two other analysts who would all really, really like to see AT&T reduce data plan charges by $10 a month.

So would consumers. However, nothing to back it up yet but wishes and analyst musings to make it so.

The second report highlights that if AT&T does drop rates, and drives adaptions, they'll only reach saturation level faster, forcing Apple to look again at Verizon and their 15 million customers to drive further growth.

Verizon customers would certainly love it, but can Apple wait long enough for LTE-compatibility to roll out?

Lastly, Dmackdaddy tipped us to what looks like AT&T seeking a lot of "retail sales consultants" in the Bay Area. Looks like some other areas may also be stocking up on staff. Regular business cycle, or just one more sign of the big iPhone 3.0 and iPhone next generation release expected for the summer?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

AT&T Roundup: Data Plan Dropping $10? Saturation Nigh? Taking on Staff Pre-WWDC?

3 Comments

I don't buy the "Second" report (link paragraph 3 above). It simply makes no sense to suggest that dropping price of the data plan by 30% would have zero effect on customer growth in this tight economy.
At some price point, everyone will hold their nose and go with AT&T even if they don't like them as a carrier. (The other carriers have their fair share of detractors as well).
At some price point you ditch the Razor Clones, and the cheesy texting specific handsets for something of value that can extend the internet to every corner of the globe.
And at some price point event he cost of the handset ceases to matter all that much. But we aren't there yet. The phone is still too prohibitively expensive and too easily stolen for the bulk of the teenage market.
Simple economic theory says that demand for this device is price elastic. Lower the price (the total cost of ownership) and you will start stealing customers from that smug "Can You Hear Me Now" guy.
This elasticity has never been tested. There is no head-to-head competition for this device in any reasonably sized market.
The theory that this phone is anywhere near saturation when it is the most expensive phone on the market, and has never been tested at any price point other than full price and full data-plan price is simply baseless guess work.
The refurbs sell out rather quickly. But the monthly costs for those remains the same, and many people can't afford that right now.
ATT knows this. Apple Knows this. Press reports of a price reduction may well be a trial balloon story planted by Apple. If ATT drops price, Apple wins. ATT: Not so much.

The price drop story just makes me think that the a plan would no longer be unlimited. Thus, charging overage fees would off set the price drop.

@miranacake:

makes me think that the a plan would no longer be unlimited

That's a distinct possibility. There are other rumors afoot that Leopard will support 3G directly ( http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/05/07/snowleopardtosupportnative3gwirelesswanhardware.html ).
This price drop in the data plan may be a quid pro quo that Apple extracted from ATT for contract extension in an attempt to push notebooks that can stay connected in more places. Other netbooks also have 3G.
So if ATT is dropping 3G prices will it mean that the bandwidth is going to be sucked out of the handheld device market and pumped into roaming net/notebook market?
Caps would certainly be necessary for that to occur.