The New York Times cited a statistic yesterday stating that 2009 was the first year that mobile data from texting, e-mailing, and internet usage “surpassed the amount of voice data in cellphone calls.”
If you own a smartphone, how much time do you spend talking versus doing everything else? My wife and I are on a shared iPhone plan with 1,400 voice minutes and most months I barely break 100 minutes. See that image up top there? That’s an actual month from my bill. Six minutes! I’d absolutely dump the voice package for my phone if AT&T had a data-only iPhone plan.
Even if I happened to be on a standard one-person plan, I’d still have to shell out $39.99 per month for 450 voice minutes. If AT&T charged me 45 cents per voice minute–which is what they charge you if you go over your minutes on the $39.99-per-month plan—but didn’t force me to pay for a monthly voice portion of my plan, I’m pretty sure I could manage to cut my monthly voice usage down to pretty close to nothing if I needed to.
It’ll be interesting to see how much longer mobile carriers require people to have voice plans. All it would take is for one of them to offer smartphones with data-only packages and reasonable per-minute voice usage. Some of them actually used to do that. Remember the T-Mobile Sidekick when it first came out? If memory serves, there was a data-only plan for around $30 to $40 with 20 cents-per-minute voice calls. Seems like a steal nowadays.
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