AT&T Data Plan Limits and the Sprint HTC Evo Give Apple Fanboys a Reason to Cry
iPhone fanboy breeding slows as AT&T ends their unlimited data plan and the Sprint HTC Evo becomes available. The mobile landscape has changed. As Guy and Yasar reported, yesterday morning AT&T announced an end to their unlimited data plan, and in doing so, left prospective smartphone customers out to dry. The old data plan came in at an industry-average $30 and allowed users to stream music and frolic through pointless fields of YouTube idiocy with brazen ignorance as to what data even was. No more: new plans start at $15 per month for 200MB of data. Want more? Pony up $25 per month for 2GB.
Don’t know how much data you use? Consider this: one hour of streaming a popular music application like Pandora or Slacker Radio will typically use 30-40MB. To break it down even further, it will conservatively cost you $2.25 per hour of music streaming on AT&T’s $15/200MB plan (see Gizmodo’s handy chart for more details), or $0.37 on the $25/2GB plan. Want to stream Youtube videos? That uses roughly 13MB of data per 15 minutes. Now add in your normal data usage, such as email attachments and other downloads. If you want (and you do!) to assess how screwed you are, log into the Bill & Payments section of your account and check out your “Data Usage Trend” after creating a Billing Report. Alternatively, you can check out AT&T’s data calculator.
As an internet glutton, I know my data usage approaches 4GB per month.
Speaking of data, today lucky Sprint customers can purchase the HTC Evo, the first 4G Android phone capable of hypnotizing you with its greatness. Notable besides the 1ghz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of ram is the forward-facing camera (great for free video calling via Fring) and its ability to turn itself into a 7.2mbps mobile hotspot capable of supporting up to eight devices. Check out Matt Buchanan’s article on Gizmodo for a full review of the mobile behemoth that is the HTC Evo 4G. Yet another reason iPhone fanboys no longer have a legitimate excuse for their rabid praise of the turtle-neck dictator other than that they simply like the phone.
What does all this mean? It means the Apple iPhone no longer enjoys (or deserves) the smartphone crown for a couple of reasons. First, the hardware specs and OS capabilities of the Verizon Incredible and the Sprint Evo are clear indicators that the burgeoning Android platform is the way of the future. iPhone 4 you say? Before the Incredible I would have readily admitted the leaked iPhone 4 specs to be superior to the best Android phone at the time (Motorola Droid), but the newest iPhone will at best be an equal to what’s available now.
Android 2.1 boasts true multitasking support and an alert system shaming the iPhone’s pop-up method, as well as free tethering via pdaNet. What’s more, Froyo (2.2) is set to launch in the Fall and promises performance gains of up to 450%. Android apps can do everything an iPhone can do (for my needs at least) and a wee bit more.
The second–and most important–reason Android wins? Who would want to switch to AT&T now? The iPhone is a well-constructed product, but being tied to AT&T means less fanboys. Thanks, AT&T!