iPhone users who have long pledged their loyalty to AT&T not because they are the best mobile carrier network out there, but simply because back in 2007 and for a few years after that, there was no one else in the US who offered the iPhone from Apple, might not be too pleased to hear that AT&T has started to throttle the top 5% of its data users who still have an “unlimited” iPhone data plan (from a long time ago), dropping data transfer speeds down to 2G connectivity – making sure the iPhone 4S now stands for iPhone 4 “Slow”.

An iPhone without a speedy data plan is somewhat “crippled” in terms of its user experience, and for folks who fall under the 5%, you will know because AT&T would have sent a text message to your inbox which 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.”

To be very clear: if you have a “limited” 5GB (or more) plan, you don’t have to worry about throttling. If you go over, AT&T will gladly charge you extra for the above-limit data.

The idea that an unlimited plan can be sold, and crippled down the road will probably anger the users, but they are probably still on a contract anyway. What do you think? Does it seem fair to you that such a modification can be subsequently added? Also, what does it mean in terms of Gigabytes of bandwidth? When is too much… too much?

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Read more about AT&T and Throttle.

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