AT&T announced today that they are ending their unlimited 3G data phones. As Dan Indiviglio wrote for our site, this is not a bad thing for most smartphone users, who don't chew through anything like the new 2 GB cap on their premium data plan. But it may be a problem for iPad users, several million of whom just bought the things on the assumption that they'd be able to do a whole lot of data-intensive browsing. iPad users don't have contracts; they're allowed to purchase by the month. They're feeling a bit burned, given that the company seems to have waited until the first great wave of iPad buying ended.
I have a Verizon mi-fi wireless device, and I just took a look at my data usage since the 27th of May, when my plan rolled over. In four days, during which I spent one day lolling on the beach and playing video games without checking email, I used 500 MB. That's without downloading any videos or music. So 2GB seems like a pretty low limit.
AT&T is offering a slight balm to wounded iPad owners: they can grandfather in if they set up their device by June 7th. But this seems to mean that those owners will no longer be able to drop their coverage on months when they're not using it; they'll need to be in the unlimited data tier continuously.