Way back in the day but not that way back I picked up an iPhone with AT&T’s so-called unlimited data plan. What’s not to like? Use all the data you can eat for a single monthly fee. That worked for a few years until AT&T’s bean counters realized that some people used too much of their ‘unlimited‘ data plans and began throttling usage. As with many households we don’t keep our iPhones on the same carrier and Jesse used Verizon and also had an unlimited data plan.
Guess what? Unlimited does not mean what it used to mean. Now there’s news that unlimited at Verizon will get a completely different meaning than AT&T’s customers. With the former, speeds were throttled after a certain amount. With the latter, you get disconnected.
Color me jaded about telecommunications giants and their so-called customer experience but I suspect iPhone and other smartphone users have a different definition of unlimited than corporate America.
This seems pretty straightforward to me.
not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent: the range of possible adaptations was unlimited.
That’s not to like about that? Here’s what you get in another dictionary:
1. not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.
2. boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.
3. without any qualification or exception; unconditional.
Today’s smartphones, as epitomized by Apple’s iPhone, are merely supercomputers in a pocket. There is little that an iPhone cannot do when compared to a Mac– Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and screen real estate come to mind as exceptions, but you get the idea, right?– yet it fits into almost any pocket, takes broadcast quality videos and near magazine quality photos (hard to tell the difference despite the differences), and it makes phone calls. Video phone calls if you want.
All of what we use our iPhones for each day requires wireless connections and data usage. Lots of data usage. And that usage is going up.
Alright, I expect to pay for what I use so I keep track of how much data flows through our family iPhones, AT&T or Verizon or others we’ve used. If a cell phone company can’t handle unlimited then say so, change the plan to throttling at lower speeds after a certain amount of data is used. Just don’t change the meaning or definitions of the words we use to understand each other.
Unlimited has a real meaning so let’s keep it.
To be fair, Verizon plans to tell excessive user data hogs that they must move to a different plan and I’m good with that. My iPhone seldom uses more than 15GB to 20GB a month, usually much less, but there are times when I need more data from Verizon and I would like to know more is available because, you know, unlimited. It’s not as if using more data costs Verizon or AT&T or T-Mobile anything extra so they are not adding costs as we use more data.
Apple’s supercomputer-in-a-pocket is a marvelous device with more capability than any electronic device I’ve ever used. It’s capabilities are unlimited, amirite?