10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 24, 2010 4:44 AM by jacksTLOS
cpham Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm planning to get the iPhone 4 on AT&T soon, but am just hesitant about this 2GB limited cap. I currently have a T-Mobile Sidekick (3G), and only use about 70MB a month. However, I know with iPhones the data is used differently.

I will be using Instant Messaging (meebo app), e-mail, web browsing, maps (GPS), social networking apps, and this free text messaging app that is always kept on a LOT on the 3G network, daily. Occasionally when I am bored I might check out a couple YouTube videos or Skype. When I did an estimate on ATT.com's data calculator, I was looking at using about 5GB of data a month. This must be a mistake!

I can't afford to tack on an extra Gigabyte a month for $10 simply because AT&T refuses to let consumers have a new unlimited data plan like other carriers do. Also, Wi-Fi is out of the question where I live.

So based on what I will be using daily with this iPhone, am I vulnerable to exceeding the 2GB data limit? What has been your experiences as an iPhone user?
  • Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (59,780 points)
    , and only use about 70MB a month.


    You'll be fine
  • cpham Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Forgot to mention I had an iPod Touch that I sold a while ago that I used over Wi-Fi (which I no longer have) that had a lot of functions that my Sidekick does not have (such as the TextFree app. I IM extensively, email quite often, and browse the web freely, perhaps hours on end. Data usage on the Sidekick is entirely different from the iPhone for some reason.

    Anyway to get the unlimited data plan back? That would actually be perfect.
  • Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (59,780 points)
    Then just use wifi whenever possible on the iPhone to keep your 3G data to a minimum
  • Lyssa Level 6 Level 6 (17,505 points)
    You shouldn't have anything to worry about. You can monitor your data usage on the phone itself using the MyWireless app.

    I spend hours streaming music every month (something like 30 hours?) via last.fm's app, along with plenty of web browsing and e-mail, and the closest I got to the 2GB limit was 70%--and I was really trying to get close!

    You may want to be careful about streaming video--I'm not sure how many MB that would be. Maybe give it a try at the end of the billing cycle?

    ~Lyssa
  • ggarthe Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Most months I don't even break 200MB. I even spent a good 3 weeks or so with wifi turned off to see what my usage would be, and even then I only hit about 700MB, and that was with a lot of youtube watching.

    Given the prevalence of free public wifi these days, I don't see a reason to worry about breaking the 2GB barrier on your phone...unless you download HD movies over 3G.

    G
  • cpham Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    And you are sure about this? I'm planning to have several apps running constantly such as IM+ or Meebo, or Facebook and that TextFree app that Pinger offers. I will have email connected as well.

    I don't understand how AT&T expects iPhone to be the iconic smartphone for business or student usage, yet limits their data plans and expects their consumers to pay another $10 for each GB they go over. They say it is to slow down their networks and to provide users with a cheaper data plan, but did they stop to think about users who actually WANT to have an unlimited plan for peace of mind?

    I actually sold and activated an iPhone (I work at a cell phone retailer), and watched as the customer played on the internet setting up an AT&T account through his phone. He was surfing for 20 minutes, and had already racked up 1,712 KB (about 1.7 MB). This is JUST surfing through Safari alone. How would it be after 30 days, and having multiple applications connect through the 3G network where Wifi is not available?

    The only thing holding me back from the iPhone is this data plan. It's just another reason why I'm leaning towards Sprint or T-Mobile.
  • Asatoran Level 4 Level 4 (2,535 points)
    cpham wrote:
    And you are sure about this? I'm planning to have several apps running constantly such as IM+ or Meebo, or Facebook and that TextFree app that Pinger offers. I will have email connected as well.


    "Text" based activities will not likely put you over the cap. You'd have to be texting continuously for the whole month...and I mean literally 24 hours a day. My Windows Mobile smartphone with several hundred texts per month, Twitter, Facebook and email never gets me past 1GB.

    What does eat up data is "streaming" activities. I started listening to a local radio station's web stream because my new office has bad reception for them on FM. I listen "just a few hours" per day, but I'll hit just under 2GB per month. Of course, that's just radio. If it were streaming video (e.g.: Netflix) then you'll likely go more than that. (One movie might not, but I'd guess more than 3 or 4 Netflix movies in a month.)

    ...I actually sold and activated an iPhone (I work at a cell phone retailer), and watched as the customer played on the internet setting up an AT&T account through his phone. He was surfing for 20 minutes, and had already racked up 1,712 KB (about 1.7 MB). This is JUST surfing through Safari alone. How would it be after 30 days, and having multiple applications connect through the 3G network where Wifi is not available?


    What webpage? As I said above, it's usually streaming that will eat up data. So if that customer went to CNN and watched a few video news stories, then yes, you can rack up that much data in a short time. Me personally, I read the text-only CNN webpage during my lunch hour each day. That's around 20-25 hours per month of surfing and I would only use up 150-200MB per month. (I actually looked at my detailed bill to see if I could figure out what my lunch hour activities used up.)

    Don't stream anything over 3G. Then 2GB/mo is adequate for most people. (Not everyone, but most people.)
  • Leann O. Level 3 Level 3 (635 points)
    "What has been your experiences as an iPhone user?"

    I personally have never used much data. When my husband and I got our iPhones last year, I knew we would be charged $30 for each data plan, and I didn't really like it, but we wanted iPhones, so we paid. When the new data plans came out, I was glad. I put us both on the 200 MB plans. He never goes over 50 MBs a month. I used about 100 MBs last month. However, we use wifi exclusively at home, as it's much faster and more reliable than 3G for us. If I am out and about and need to look up something on my iPhone, I use the data then. I am a student, and if I can't get on a wifi network at my school, I use the AT&T network when I need to look something up on my phone. Otherwise, I use wifi all the time. That's my experience with it. I would say that as long as you don't stream a bunch of music or watch a lot of videos, you should be fine on 2 GB. Most people tend to overestimate what they will truly use when it comes to data. Hope this helps.
  • cpham Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the replies. I don't do much streaming, but more push notifications and whatnot. Hopefully, the unlimited plan will be made available in the future, either that or the iPhone will be available on another carrier. One can dream, huh?
  • jacksTLOS Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    With what you've said, as to what you're going to use, you shouldn't even come close to the 2G data cap! NOTHING on the iPhone (except Music, GPS, and VOIP) runs in the background! This means that you can't leave anything on the phone, when it comes to texting, MMS or social networking on continuously. Yes you will receive push notifications, but that is extremely small in data terms. Also the GPS on the iphone uses very small amounts of data (if you use TOM TOM or an app that stores maps on the phone), very negligible if you actually tracked it (Yes GPS on iphone uses data, the cell tower is used to help the chip with your location).

    Now, with my experience, I stream music on the phone daily on my way to and from work and I'm never over 1.5 gigs. The ONLY time i've gone over is a month where I had taken a road trip from Houston, TX to Seattle, Wa (one way, flew back home) and streamed music wherever I had 3g, which was a good portion of the way. At the end of the month i had used 3 gigs of data.

    So If you plan on streaming music all day, the cap will kill you! Video will hurt even more, a lot more! Otherwise the daily activities won't even get you close!