Well, Verizon’s gone and done it: they have cut off unlimited data access for new customers as of early July. I’m not sure, but I think Sprint now may be the only cell provider that offers this.
Just as happened with airline fees for checked bags, I expect the dominoes to fall and only one will be left standing, steadfast in it’s pledge to not charge for unlimited data. Will Sprint remain steadfast? Or will it cave to the profit-mongers?
Really, what IS the marginal cost of a megabyte-per-second or of 2 MB downloaded through a provider’s network?
I’m less concerned with a possible move by Sprint to follow the price-gouge herd now that I hear that HP’s Pr 3 will not be offered on their network. [Update: Not only will the Pre not be coming to Sprint, HP will no longer be making WebOS devices.]
But nevertheless, this continued race to the bottom is bad for consumers. If I were Sprint, I’d market the fact that “We have unlimited data!” I wonder if that will bring in customers. Oh, right, the much-hyped iPhones aren’t available on Sprint? Get a ‘Droid, get real, live in the real world (not Apple’s coddling world). [Update: There are rumors that Sprint will begin offering the iPhone 5 in early October 2011.]
Where was I? Oh, right, the Race to the Bottom.
Just look around for other examples of where fees are being charged, services cut (with no price cut), sizes of merchandise dwindling. Then notice how the practice starts slowly, then other companies & manufacturers follow suit & jump on the bandwagon. Leaving consumers in the dust.
And we don’t even notice the camel sticking its nose under the tent. Or, if we do, we don’t say a peep. But we do think about writing a “Things Used To Be Good” blog.