250 megabytes of data is not enough.
Vodafone are making a lot of noise about the fact that their NZ$80 per month plan is great value. Sure, it might be good value for calls and SMS, but the measly 250 megs of data is going to bite them when people actually start using the phones and get hit with data overage charges.
Here’s the deal: I’m a moderate iPhone 1G user*, and I use between 300 and 500 megs of data every month. If I had a 3G iPhone I expect I would use a lot more data, and especially mapping data with the integrated GPS and Google maps. So lets be generous and say a moderate 3G iPhone user would use 500 megs of data (which is low in my opinion). This is going to cost $25 per month in overage, putting the actual plan cost over $100. It’s totally conceivable that users will hit closer to 1GB of data if they use the iPhone as a navigation device, use push email, and have more than a couple of apps using Apple’s background updates.
I suspect these plans will haunt Vodafone for some time to come. I’m hoping that it will highlight just how crazy mobile data charges are at the moment.
*Here’s a rundown of my iPhone usage so you can compare against your projected usage on 3G:
- I browse the internet (Twitter and Google reader primarily) for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours per day on GPRS (depending on how much WiFi I use).
- I have 2 different IMAP email accounts (GMail and work) set to check every 30 minutes, and receive maybe 20-50 email headers per day. I would only read 5 of those in full using GPRS.
- I use Google maps probably 2-3 times per week to locate an adddress. No real-time navigation obviously.
- I check the weather using the iPhone weather app maybe once a week. No idea how much it checks in the background.
So there you go. I would estimate that my usage would double if I were to get a 3G iPhone, based on faster browsing, real-time mapping, and various app store usage.