More evidence that Apple and AT&T are entertaining new pricing plans for the iPhone: BusinessWeek is the latest to report that the wireless carrier is “considering cutting the price of its monthly service package or offering a range of lower-priced plans.”
This is a smart move. (And is one of the ways we outlined last month that Apple can boost iPhone sales.) While cutting the iPhone to $200 from $400 basically doubled sales, there’s still a lot of people who don’t want to spend a minimum $70 per month on wireless service (plus text messaging). A package at $60 or less — perhaps including some text messages — would be a better deal, and would especially be helpful for families.
The risk is that Apple and AT&T will damage the iPhone’s industry-leading user experience.
Part of the draw to the iPhone is that it includes all the Internet access you can use, without the worry of excessive overage charges. A cheaper plan with a limit on bandwidth could cause the user to second-guess their consumption; deal with outrageous overage charges; have to stop using the Internet with a few days left in their billing period; or all of the above. That’s not the spirit Apple is shooting for. (The flip side is that the iPhone’s wi-fi chip could help conserve cellular bandwidth.)
But overall, a positive move.
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