A large part of Apple's iPad 3G sales pitch was the ability to buy a $30 a month unlimited data plan from AT&T. In an announcement that clearly has been in the works long before Apple introduced the iPad, and which was only released after the first wave of iPad 3G sales, AT&T said "just kidding" to its unlimited data plan customers. I understand where AT&T is going with this but if Apple is going to have an exclusive relationship with a cellular provider, it has some responsibility to its customers to keep them in line.
For years I have resisted the urge to switch to AT&T to get an iPhone, sticking with whatever imperfect phones I could find to access the Verizon network. This just reinforces that choice.
Local telephone providers pretty much failed in their ability to offer reasonable high-speed data services to customers, for years losing out to cable and other suppliers. It will be interesting to see if any cellular providers will be up to this challenge. HT Megan McArdle.
Update: The old plans are still up at the Apple site selling iPads. Note the new AT&T plan even cost increases the low volume plan, increasing it from $15 for 250mb to $15 for 200mb. Crazy that Apple allowed their partner to do this within a month of the iPad 3G launch.