Is iPhone's success – gulp – hurting AT&T?

Jake Turcotte

Say bye-bye to unlimited data?

The Wall Street Journal's Martin Peers reports today that the influx of iPhone users – including next year's entire crop of Mizzou journalism school students – is taxing the AT&T network more than it can stand, and recommends that wireless carriers drop unlimited data plans altogether.

All together now: "Gasp!"

Mr. Peers's recommendation is based on findings that iPhone users are true bandwidth hogs, despite paying the same $30 rate for unlimited data as users of other smartphones. Still, it's a little hard to swallow. Why would AT&T risk alienating users of its marquee device – 7.5 percent of its subscriber base, according to Peers – by raising prices or doing away with unlimited usage?

And, as Gizmodo points out, the iPhone can't be all bad, as AT&T is rumored to have been fighting for its exclusivity last week.

Also, notably, this "unlimited data plans are killing AT&T" business seems to fly in the face of murmurings last week of an impending iPhone rate plan price-drop to accompany Apple's expected update of the device.

As is often the case with iPhone rumors (remember this one?), it's best to take these – and Peers' dire prognosis – with a grain of salt.

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