Mark your calendar. Today is the day Verizon ends unlimited data plans, putting a nail in the coffin of all-things all-the-time mobile. Eventually all carriers will follow this model as they are all addicted to charge-per-minute plans, so why not charge per bit downloaded, so their thinking goes.
Governing minutes or data, it is the way pipe providers, and unlimited plans are completely counter to their business soul. But ending unlimited plans on AT&T, and now Verizon, it's an Omen of things to come from every data provider, mobile or not. The capping of data is rapidly extending into homes via cable and fiber internet providers. This shouldn't shock anyone. All of these players were spawned from the world of telecommunications, thus the game is the same across the board. How they can extract every cent from our wallets will seemingly never end. However, there is one white knight that has the cash and cajones to change the game – Apple.
If Boy Genius reporting is accurate, Apple is setting the stage to make the higher educational sales competition a no-contest event this summer. The report claims Apple will be offering $200 off any iPad with the purchase of a Mac, which is an additional offer added to the typical free iPod touch offer given to students during the educational buying season. Apple offering iPads as low as $299 – it's a game over situation.
If you have any form of youth in the house and were considering a Mac or iPad, this "may be coming" offer marks the time to get some new Apple goodness. Students are on, or around, campus most of the time, thus a majority are likely to just go with an iPad wifi model. But many students will consider a 3G version with Apple's tempting discount, pitting Apple against its carrier partners, specifically Verizon.
Mobile carriers in the UK — 3, T-Mobile and Orange — are providing iPads through a subsidized model, perhaps as early as year’s end. Fresh on the heels of the UK carriers, Japan's mobile provider Softbank has just announced a subsidy program for iPad. Apple's competitors, who have been unable to compete pound-for-pound with iPad's pricing, thought they had found Apple's soft underbelly via the carrier subsidy model; however, it appears Apple is more than willing to play the same game, but that's where Apple stops playing fair.
|iPad Subsidies in the U.S.?|
|The subsidy model is quickly launching in other regions across the world, so this begs the obvious question: When is it going to happen in the US?|
The UK carriers are taking an agressive approach, bring iPad to the masses for around £199, with a two-year subscription. But in Japan Softbank's approach is nothing short of stunning, offering the iPad for free, with a two-year contract.