AT&T is giving some concession to keep the old unlimited iPad data plan — but the offered reason that very few people are using the full 5GB/month data cap doesn’t seem to hold water, especially with video calling coming. On the other hand, the claim that the new pricing will be more affordable for more people sounds like a spin on “we’re losing exclusivity soon, so we want to prevent financial bleeding before the fact by offering the lowest-priced data plans now.” Will Apple slap AT&T’s wrists over this ? Not sure, but by Monday, we should at least know what consumer electronics wonders Steve Jobs has in store for the rest of 2010, after Jobs’ keynote kicks off in the morning at WWDC.
Of course, it’s still fun to speculate until then, and now speculation is running towards multiple iPhone carriers in the USA, though not immediately. This is based on speculation about what Jobs meant at D8 this week when he said there might be an advantage to this, as well as other rumors that suggest AT&T’s exclusivity contract is coming to an end in Nov or thereabouts. This might be why AT&T has suddenly created several revenue stream opportunities for themselves around the iPhone and iPad, including specialized iPhone insurance, increased ETF (Early Termination Fee) rates, revised data plans that do not favor power users (i.e., probably most early adopters of the iPad), etc.
Other interesting tidbits out of D8: that the iPad concept predated the iPhone, and that the original project was called the Safari Pad. I guess the Newton was missed.