If you’ve been whining about why the iPhone 4S has no 4G, get ready for a real letdown — 2G speeds. The move by AT&T to throttle its top 5 percent of data users to a snail’s pace is an unwelcome Christmas present for many iPhone users.
It appears AT&T is breaking the news to subscribers via text message. The text reads: “Your data usage is among the top 5 percent of users. Data speeds for the rest of your current bill cycle may be reduced.”
Earlier this year we reported on AT&T’s decision to throttle some accounts, starting in October. It’s unknown how much data you must consume to make it into the 5 percent affected by the throttling; however, AT&T has made it clear in the past that this move should only effect jailbreakers on unlimited plans who are using tethering Cydia hacks to get around subscribing to AT&T’s official tethering plan.
It is ironic that the iPhone may help AT&T add a record number of smartphones during the fourth quarter. This morning, the carrier proclaimed it’s network is the only one where “iPhone 4S users [can] download three times faster and talk and surf at the same time.”
While it’s unknown whether any other carriers will follow AT&T’s lead, the move could give an advantage to Sprint, which boasts no data limits. However it shakes out, I can just hear iPhone users adopting the “Occupy Wall Street” mantra: We are the 5 Percent.