From the Infinite Loop blog:
AT&T is listening to customers and is considering slashing its monthly iPhone plans, according to a new rumor out of BusinessWeek. “People with knowledge of the company’s thinking” have told the publication that the carrier has thought out some lower-priced data options, including a limited data plan for $10 less than the current offerings.
The news comes just weeks after Cote Collaborative analyst Michael Cote sent a research note saying that there was a “strong possibility” that AT&T planned to drop its entry-level iPhone plan from $69 per month to $59. At that time, Cote offered no real support for his premonitions aside from the fact that it would make sense if AT&T wanted to continue bringing in new customers, noting that the current data plan pricing “does not address the whole market.”
Before that, Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu said that AT&T was “more open to developing tiered data plans that fit more in line with today’s environment.” He suggested that there may soon be multiple levels of data to choose from, which seems to support the buzz out of BusinessWeek. Given the language used in the BW piece, it sounds as if the unlimited data plan might remain the same price, with a likely download cap for $10 less per month.
The price cut may be part of negotiations between Apple and AT&T, as the carrier is currently trying to extend its exclusive contract until 2011. Apple is undoubtedly looking for its carrier partners to start offering more attractive plan options in order to expand market share, and AT&T is likely willing to bend over backwards in order to keep Apple to itself for a little while longer.