Tiered data plans and throttles has everyone careful about their data usage. After being used to unlimited data, customers are starting to feel the drawbacks of being limited. Streaming and other data-hungry tasks are starting to become less popular (at least when out of WiFi range), but AT&T is looking to relieve its customers by charging app developers for those GB’s.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Ma Bell is planning a new tactic, in which developers cover the costs of data while using their app. The claim is that this would help developers get much more downloads and usage, as users are starting to avoid such data-hungry apps. Users would be able to use said apps without the data going against their monthly limit.
If a developer offered to take the punch for your data, more users would be willing to download and use their applications. AT&T executive John Donovan compares such service to toll-free 1-800 numbers, in which the company covers the costs of phone conversations.
Of course, those are the positive sides of the story. There is the other side of the spectrum, in which it is believed that developers would be substantially hurt by such practices. Sure, users might be most likely to use their services, but the costs for the developer might become too overbearing; hence, hurting the Android ecosystem. Users who once feared that $10 per GB overage fee would now blow their GB’s away streaming music, videos, etc. Not to mention that the prices for those services would probably rise.
We will have to wait and see how AT&T plays its cards. We would hope that no developer is forced to be part of this, and stays optional. But let us know what you think. Would this be a convenient method? Will it harm developers and consumers, in the long run?