The next iPhone will include FaceTime over not just wireless but data networks too, and for AT&T subscribers at least, that will come with no extra charge—kind of. Since video chatting takes a lot of data, the service could potentially put a lot of stress on data networks, so people expected that wireless companies would make it an extra charge. But today AT&T has confirmed in a statement (via The Verge) that it will not do that, instead offering it as "an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans." In this case, however, "added benefit" doesn't necessarily mean cheaper. It forces new iPhone owners to migrate to the share data plans, which, as we've pointed out before, are not a good deal for most people.
Unlike Verizon, AT&T opted not to force new customers to buy the plan. This caveat, however, is its little way of pushing people in that direction. So, while one won't incur extra charges for the rare occasion in which a person wants to video chat in a non-wireless equipped area, one will rack up higher monthly bills. Oh, joy.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.