AT&T CEO: Unlimited iPhone Data a Mistake
By Lindsay Welnick
May 07, 2012 - News

Offering unlimited data may have been the biggest mistake AT&T made in its iPhone business.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T's CEO, said he regrets that the company offered unlimited data for the iPhone and that he loses sleep thinking about free text-messaging services like Apple's iMessage, according to a report by the New York Times.

Stephenson's regret stems from users not paying appropriately for their data usage. With the unlimited data plan, heavy data users paid relatively less than light data users, who subsidized the heavy ones, he said.

“My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat," Stephenson said in the report. “And it’s a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital."

While AT&T discontinued unlimited data in 2010, its text-messaging revenue is still at risk from free alternatives. In the most recent quarter, AT&T report $6.1 in revenue from mobile data, with 70 percent of people on the new tiered data plans paying for more expensive data options, the Times said.

However, free messaging services like Apple's iMessage and Skype could replace traditional text messaging, including AT&T's offerings, Stephenson said in the report.

comments powered by Disqus
Related News
After being long-criticized for only releasing one handset a year, the numbers show that Apple
Daniel Santa Cruz
This marks the fourth year in a row an Apple device has taken the title of using the most data.
Kimberly Koerth
The offer applies to AT&T and Verizon customers as well; T-Mobile is just taking the
Craig Galbraith