AT&T is facing the end of their SMS lifeline. They're responding with innovations -- of a sort. For my family, their latest move is adding $35 a month to our bill.
So we're innovating too - by migrating away from SMS based texting sooner rather than later.
We're also looking at Paygo alternatives; moving the kids' iPhones off of our family plan. My friend Gordon F explained how it works, but see also a TUAW article of 8/11.
Here's the short version of Gordon's scheme:
- Move your old number to Google Voice ($20 to Google) if you want to keep it.
- Start with an AT&T GoPhone plan. You'll need any old AT&T dumbphone, borrow one or dig something out of the closet.
- At the AT&T store get a GoPhone SIM in your dumbphone paying the minimal fee for the 10 cents/min voice plan.
- Buy a $100 airtime card. This card has a 1 year expiration time.
- If you want data, buy a $25 500 MB data package. This normally expires in 1 month, but then each month buy a 10MB $5/month on an automatic purchase plan. This causes the data package to rollover. Over two years total cost is $145 for 740MB.
- If you want texting pay $5/month for 200 messages.
Update 111111: Must be in the air. Lifehacker did a story on this a couple of days after my post. I found some mistakes there and nothing new, but it's clear there's demand for data-free iPhones.