Kevin’s coverage at GigaOM helped, but what I really needed was a chart that compared the different options. I couldn’t find one, so I made my own:
|2 iPhones||3 iPhones||4 iPhones|
|Shared data, unlimited minutes|
|Individual data, 700 shared minutes|
|Individual data, unlimited minutes|
This chart compares the cost of two to four iPhones (or any smartphone, of course) on AT&T across their new shared data plan (with unlimited minutes and text messaging), their 700 shared minute and unlimited calling family plans (with no bundled messaging). It seems AT&T didn’t want customers directly comparing the product lines, so none of the individual data tiers align with the shared data tiers. Family plans are definitely less expensive when pricing for two handsets, but the savings with three or more handsets is less clear.