Report: Large Majority of Tablet Buyers Shun Carrier Data Plans

The iPad 4G may prove itself an exception, however Chetan Sharma's latest report on data consumption and carrier revenues shows that US consumers continue to shun carrier contracts when it comes to buying tablets. The reasons are very rational:

  • Smartphone owners already pay high monthly carrier bills
  • The lower prices of WiFi tablets (the iPad in particular) makes them more attractive to consumers
  • Consumers don't want to have to worry about data-plan limits and rationing or throttling

Indeed, tablet data plans offered by the carriers are quickly used up -- in just a few hours -- by video consumption on the iPad in particular.

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Consumers want to be free of carrier data plan restrictions and associated costs. However, as voice and text revenues decline, carriers will increasingly look to data plans for revenue growth. Carriers will need to be very creative because users will be seeking to escape their efforts to extract more data fees from consumers.