Here are the first two grafs of Matt Richtel’s June 2 New York Times story about AT&T’s new tiered data plans for smartphone service:
They spend hours watching video on their phones, downloading songs, browsing the Web, sending photos to friends and generally using mobile devices as full-fledged computers.
They are the data hogs. On Wednesday, AT&T pulled away the trough. And other wireless carriers could do the same.
This made us LOL! But the food jokes kept coming:
The decision, industry analysts said, could signal a shift away from an era in which American wireless carriers sought to attract customers with simple, all-you-can-eat pricing plans for data.
We haven’t heard this many food metaphors since Lil’ Wayne’s Da Drought 3! Even the experts got in on the fun.
“The free lunch for the ultra-heavy data user has been taken off the menu,” said Roger Entner, a telecommunications industry analyst with the Nielsen Company. “The new generation of heavy users is going to pay according to what they use.”
In yesterday’s follow-up story Claire Cain Miller and Brad Stone picked up the riff and deep fried it:
For the last two years, unlimited data plans have given app-hungry smartphone users an all-you-can-eat buffet. But will customers react to AT&T’s new, limited menu by simply eating less?
Stop it, we thought, we’re full! But they had one more in them:
AT&T and some developers say that the new data plans could have the opposite effect and increase data usage by making it more affordable for most people.
For example, the new $25-a-month DataPro plan, $5 less than the existing unlimited plan, offers two gigabytes of data, which amounts to 10,000 e-mail messages without attachments, 4,000 Web pages, 500 photos and 200 minutes of video. It still sounds like a bountiful meal.
More on this tomorrow, probably.