“Brandon Wells got the new iPad last Friday, started wirelessly streaming March Madness games the next day and by Saturday night was out of gas,” Anton Troianovski reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Two hours of college basketball—which he viewed mounted to his car dashboard and live at tournament games—had burned through his monthly wireless data allotment of two gigabytes.”
“Now, to keep surfing the Web or watch more NCAA hoops over Verizon Wireless’s 4G network, Mr. Wells will have to pay an extra $10 for every gigabyte above his current $30 subscription,” Troianovski reports. “It has been only five days since users of Apple Inc.’s newest iPad first took the device out of the box. Some are now finding just how quickly the promise of superfast wireless connections collides with the reality of what those services cost.”
“The iPad’s new high-resolution screen and fast connection are specifically designed to spur greater use of online video—a long-stated goal for phone companies as well as technology purveyors such as Apple,” Troianovski reports. “That means something has to give: Either consumers will have to get used to paying more or wireless carriers will come under pressure to change their pricing models. Verizon declined to comment on its pricing strategy, but said customers can pick higher-use plans or they can go easier on their data allotments by shifting to Wi-Fi networks when they are available.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: This has nothing to do with Apple or the iPad. The WSJ’s headline, “Video Speed Trap Lurks in New iPad,” is blatantly false and misleading. If anything, the “speed trap” lurks in the carriers. Obviously, to anyone but the most blooming of idiots, if you access higher data rate content, you will consume more data faster. If you want to stream a live basketball game via cellular, at this point, you’re going to pay for it.
Most people have long ago figured out that, unless they are grandfathered into an unlimited data plan, you have to watch your streaming video use over cellular networks. If you’re going to take a plane flight, you download movies from iTunes Store via Wi-Fi at home, not spur-of-the-moment via AT&T or Verizon at the airport. Etcetera.
Video on any mobile device – not just Apple’s iPad – eats up data. The Journal should correct their headline and their article.
Luckily, the carriers already see the issue and are working a solutions, for example:
AT&T working to allow app developers to pay for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch users’ data use – February 27, 2012
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]