iPhone plans announced

Apple and AT&T announced available service plans for the iPhone. No big surprises, but a few small ones.

ATLANTA and CUPERTINO, California—June 26, 2007—AT&T Inc. and Apple® today announced three simple, affordable service plans for iPhone™ which start at just $59.99 per month. All three plans include unlimited data, Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll-over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling. With everything else already included, iPhone customers can easily choose the plan that’s right for them based on the amount of voice minutes they plan to use each month. In addition, iPhone customers can choose from any of AT&T’s standard service plans.

  • Unlimited data services. Nice, on anything other than an EDGE network. Seriously, this will encourage browsing and opportunities for upselling. This could be a nice shot in the arm for mobile video. Currently existing mobile plans’ pricing models discourage usage.
  • Only can be activated through iTunes. Very nice. You get to avoid Skippy in the AT&T store. (Skippy was solely responsible for my current Verizon contract.)
  • In order to use the iPhone as a music and video player, it has to be activated as a phone. Sounds like it will be pretty difficult to hack a method for using the phone with other carriers.

iPhone map - Frank’s PizzaThe first iPod seemed insanely expensive for a music player, but it caught on by being the first MP3 player to get it right. The problem here is that there are already a lot of phones and music players with satisfied owners. There were no switching costs involved with iPod adoption. I’ll be out $150 if I opt out of my VZ contract for AT&T.

Keep a close eye on the early adopters. These are the people who will be defining the mobile video space going forward. Of the most interest, will the YouTube connection combined with unlimited bandwidth spawn a new trend in participatory media? What will be the role of the citizen journalist? Will there be Final Cut Phone?

The business models can evolve. Since the iPhone is true Internet device, it’s not subject to the carriers’ walled garden approaches to online commerce. Content can be purchased via the iPhone as it is via the PC browser.

Rumor mill

An ArsTechnica entry asserts iPhone will work with Microsoft Exchange.

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