AT&T & Verizon Are Working On Shared iPhone/iPad Data Plans

AT&T & Verizon Are Working On Shared iPhone/iPad Data Plans

Sick of juggling multiple data plans across your iPhone and iPad? That could soon be coming to an end, as US carriers stroke their chins and openly muse about shared data plans.

While many European carriers already allow their customers to share a single data allowance between multiple devices, in America, so far the best you can do is share minutes between multiple devices.

According to All Things D, though, both AT&T and Verizon are now saying that their companies are exploring the possibility of similar offerings.

From an end customer perspective, what this would mean is you could share your iPhone’s 2GB data plan with an iPad 3G for just a few bucks more a month. For most users, this would actually lead to a significant savings over the current paradigm, in which a 2GB data subscription must be purchased for both the iPhone and iPad, separately.

Can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned. But what do you think? Are your mobile data needs best served by a single 2GB data cap across all your iDevices, or will that just not be enough for you?

  • Chris Brunner

    I’m grandfathered in to the unlimited iPhone data plan so it would have to either be:

    a) unlimited (or)
    b) an add on to my existing plan

    I just don’t carry my iPad around so the benefits of this sort of plan wouldn’t be that big a deal to me.

    -Chris
    http://friendsofmac.net

  • Doug Bursnall

    As long as I can still carry my old unlimited plan forward and use my iPad wifi via a iPhone hotspot. Think it make lots of sense. We don’t pay separatly for the electricity that runs the tv and dvd, or the data for devices connected to our home wifi etc etc etc

  • djrobsd

    2 gigs, are they joking?? 

  • fabulousjoshie

    I’m also Grandfather in on the unlimited plan for my iPhone. It would be great to add on my ipad to that plan.  

  • Kim Leblanc

    When you pay for data, you should be able to use it where you want, especially if the phone supports it. (Personal hotspot). At least, carriers in Canada understood that.

  • mikkeee

    They might actually make more from customers like myself. I have an iPhone and an iPad but I’m not willing to shell out the cash for data for each device because I’m not out of the house much with the iPad. I would, however, pay an extra $5 a month to add my iPad. I guess they need the bean counters to determine their net loss from current customers vs. the gain from the add on people.

  • Fred Vigdor

    I’m thinking there’s no way they would allow this with the grandfathered unlimited data plans, but maybe as an enticement for folks to give up their unlimited data (which I would not do . . .)

  • Wayne_Luke

    You can already do this with the Data + Tethering plan. $20.00 more a month for an addition 2GB data and you can use it with any WiFi capable device including the iPad and Touches. You’re just restricted by proximity.

    I do wish they include higher cap plans though and let us share them across devices. I’d pay $80 a month for a 10-12GB (or more) plan across all my iDevices instead of $25 for 2 GB each.

  • Jeremiah Nilsson

    In Sweden we have Twin-cards, an extra SIM-card is issued for your iPad and you use the iPhone plan (“all you can eat” up to 5GB a month). Having the extra card is 5USD a month. Works perfectly. It’s been like that for the last 2-3 years.

    Are you serious that this is a new thing in USA?

    I really feel sorry for you as I’ve heard that 3G really sucks and there are large gaps in the coverage. 

  • Jay Floyd

    Yep, I’ve never activated the 3G on my iPad.  With this option I’d at least consider it.

  • ChristopherArmenia

    Yeah thats the point. Its only $5 cheaper than having a totally separate account on the iPad. For that $5 you get to keep your unlimited data if youre grandfathered in, and you dont drain the battery of your phone by tethering to it. If it were going to save me say, $15 a month it might be worth it…

  • Wayne_Luke

    As time goes on, the number of people who are grandfathered in will become proportionately less. If you’re grandfathered in then you have a bonus. Most iPad owners are not since they ended the unlimited plan about 30 days after the release of the 3g iPad. Of course there are probably a few hundred thousand who will be grandfathered in on Verizon with their iPad 2s.

    Still doesn’t fix the proximity issue though since you can’t tether when the device is more than 30 feet away.

    My iPad is actually on an unlimited data plan with AT&T so really doesn’t bother me with that device. When I purchase an iPhone this fall, it won’t be however. My wife’s is not on unlimited either since they didn’t offer it when she got her iPhone. If I get my young adult children iPhones then their devices will not be either. With five lines in the house, that would be $125 a month for 2 GB each. It would bring our total cellphone bill to $300 a month or $60/device plus an additional $29.99 a month for the iPad. Though, I’d probably get the $15.00 a month on my iPhone since I have the iPad as well. Still it gets expensive.

  • Shermily Zzj

    Well, i will have a try to do that. if you want to rip dvd to ipad 2, please visit here:
    http://dvdrippingsoftwares.com

  • Elizabeth Harden

    Though it’s a fact not reflected on discussion boards like this one, there’s an important market waiting for shared data plans — families. There’s no way I’m shelling out the cash for four iPhones AND four data plan contracts. But as soon as I can buy four iPhones (for the current, discounted with a 2-yr contract) and pay for a shared data plan ($80 for 10gbs, for example) that can be used by the phones and my mi-Fi for the iPad, I’ll be the first in line.

  • Robert

    My fiends with droid phones already tether their Ipad.  Not the way Verizon intended but if I had to do it over again I would have gone to Droid for just that reason.  Phone and Pad together.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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