By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm
When Steve Jobs explained the pricing for the iPad’s AT&T 3G broadband last week, he said that 250MB of data would run $14.99 a month, and unlimited access was $29.99–but that most folks would find the $14.99 plan more than adequate. My immediate reaction was that 250MB seemed ludicrously low.
Turns out that Glenn Fleishman had a similar reaction, but when he checked out his iPhone usage stats, he learned he uses an average of 270MB of 3G data month–just a little bit over the $14.99 plan’s limit. His post shares some worthwhile information about the iPad and its plans (actually, lack of information in some cases–as Glenn points out, neither Apple nor AT&T is yet saying what happens when you exceed the 250MB).
Glenn’s piece prompted me to check my own iPhone stats: In the 7.3 months I’ve owned an iPhone 3GS, I’ve used an average of 450MB of data a month–close to twice the limit. I also own a Verizon EVDO adapter which I use with my laptops; with that, I consume several gigabytes of data a month (but have never bumped up against the plan’s 5GB maximum).
Paying for AT&T phone service and AT&T iPad 3G and Verizon 3G would be a giant chunk of change every month. If I end up an iPad user, my smartest move might be to trade in my EVDO adapter for a MiFi mobile hotspot that would provide wireless broadband to my laptops and an iPad–even at the same time.
Of course, it’s still a bit hard to judge what typical data consumption will be on an iPad–it’s neither a phone nor a notebook. Do you think you could get by on a quarter-gigabyte a month?