Limited Data Plans Will Limit Mobile Adoption
Within my world of data consumption via iPhone, BlackBerry and iPad, I use somewhere between 1 megabyte and 1 zillion bytes: I haven't the foggiest.
And until this week, I had no need to no how much data I was accessing on my mobile devices. That has changed with AT&T's announcement that unlimited data plans will no longer be made available.
What had been a simple world --what is hard to understand about unlimited use? — has been replaced with tiered plans named DataPlus and DataPro.I'm afraid this may be duplicated by the other mobile carriers, and that the result will drive many of the 286 million mobile subscribers in the U.S. to say "DataNo."
I'm the last person to underestimate the technical know-how of consumers of all ages. Heck, my mother-in-law reads off of a Kindle at age 80. My father-in-law is washing something, painting something or cleaning something as we write because he has seen the power of Craigslist and its ability to move a small fishing boat. Now he asks, "What else can I sell?"
Adoption of text messaging took off when the unlimited text plan became available. Gone were the days when a phone bill produced the yell that only a $625 bill can bring. Now, 63 percent of American mobile subscribers use text. messaging.
Tiering data plans has the same game-change feel, just in the wrong direction. The carriers will tell you that they are offering transparency — know as you go.
But transparency doesn't replace simplicity, and what AT&T has done is take a megabyte out of mobile's momentum.