Some iPad 4G users quickly churn through data limits

“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.]

28 Comments

    1. No wonder AT&T and Verizon want everyone to use LIMITED LTE plans… 😛

      In a month, you could be charged the extra $10 a whopping 6470 times!!! (assuming you somehow managed to maintain that rate of data consumption)

  1. “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.”

    Well no shit, Sherlock! Colour me fscking surprised.

    1. Took the words out of my mouth. Streaming video uses a lot of bandwidth? Holy shit! Fire up the presses! I learned this the hard way when letting my son watch 1/3 of a NetFlix video while we waited for the fireworks last 4th of July. Silly me. I should have started a blog about it and made some cash off of Ad hits.

        1. That’s the trouble with conservatives – they somehow were born without the usual complement of sense-of-humor neuron,s and all attempts at parody are totally lost, even when said parody has a laugh-track (such as the smiley).

          1. Well, humor was my first thought. Then I considered how conversations on these boards usually go, and I changed my mind, taking the smiley to be an inflammatory device.

            We’ll chalk it up to the Internet’s failure for lack of a sarcasm tag.

          2. It’s also interesting that you feel this way, because most conservatives feel the same way about liberals; that is, attempts at humor are often taken as violating the politically correct code, thus opening the humorist to be called insensitive, callous, even racist.

            Then again, amongst the normal, everyday person, it’s never an issue. It’s only when these things are said in a public place that they get blown up.

    1. It didn’t come up because Verizon sold the first LTE phones with unlimited data and then has been running double data cap plan specials ever since to get people to convert to LTE.

      But they won’t apply the deal o hot spots or iPads where it would actually be used most.

  2. I’m normally as conservative as they come, but…

    If I was in the government, I’d pass a regulation mandating that a certain percentage of profits must be invested in network infrastructure. However much they do now, add 50%.Same thing for landline Internet companies.

    While we’re at it, throw in a regulation saying they must expand their potential customer base by 5% each year (by building out infrastructure where it does not already exist).

  3. Theres actually a simple fix for the common consumer: Have streaming apps detect if the device is on wifi or LTE. If it’s on LTE, have it play the video at a much lower quality with a message about data plan usage- and give the customer the option to set to a higher (or full!) quality if they so decide. It’s an education issue at this point.

  4. “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.”

    Holy crap!!!! it’s Apple’s Fault!

    I love how the Article makes you think it’s apple’s fault for the Data usage, then as you read…. you realize it’s just another idiot reporting on another idiot.

    @Elsic75a
    Thats what the YouTube app does. I agree, it should be standard for all streaming apps.

    And BTW, didn’t the guy get the warnings from AT&T/Verizon about him approaching the limits?.. I thought that lawsuit against the carriers forced them to send those notifications. Maybe since it was in about 2 hours.. the system couldn’t send them out in time.

  5. Supporting ISP charges to app developers is not the answer. This policy would kill small developers, double charge for the data flows — does anyone really think the ISPs would lower their prices to consumers and give more bandwidth? — and be the first step towards killing net neutrality.

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