Over the last week I heard two bits of news that had me wondering about the rising cost of technology, rather than the lowering of it. Being in the electronics business, I am always alarmed at the speed at which tech gets outdated and prices (and unfortunately, margins) decrease. I understand that businesses need to keep themselves profitable, but I don't understand them changing the rules of the game on consumers after something has been implemented.
In my review of the iPad, I was quite impressed with Etisalat's 3G plan being so closely priced to that of AT&T's in the US. AT&T had announced unlimited 3G on the iPad for 30 USD a month, and Etisalat subsequently announced a Dhs 99 unlimited version of theirs. As I had later pointed out, the Etisalat plan only lasted for 3 months, during which it would probably go back up to 395 Dhs for 10GB of data. In a surprising (and odd) move, AT&T in the US announced a new plan where they would charge 25 USD a month for a mere 2GB of data, or 15USD for a measly 200MB. If I lived in the US, and had put in an order for a 3G iPad which was yet to be delivered to me, I'd be seriously pissed! Most people would have spent the extra cash to upgrade to a 3G device, to be able to check email, stream videos, download books and magazines on the go and have complete freedom on their device. Let's just put it this way- 2GB aint getting them too far at all. And making an announcement that the pricing would change in a few days, and making it sound like a fabulous way for customers to save money? Not good.
Another announcement that was made last week was the availability of Skype 3G calls on the iPhone. This means that where Skype calls were previously only available for the iPhones that were connected to a WiFi connection, could now also be made with a regular 3G connection. In a surprise announcement, the company also said these calls were only available free till August, after which they would cost a fee. This of course would be over and above the price the consumer would be paying to AT&T for data plan in the first place. When the net went crazy with angry Skype customers, the company decided to extend the free service till the end of the year. Come on Skype, what's next? Paid Skype-to-skype calls over WiFi as well?!