You're correct though that as a current iPhone and iPad user, it's not going to affect me other than the tethering. You can only get the tethering with the NEW plans, so to tether, I'd be giving up my unlimited. A lot of people want tethering, and losing the unlimited to get it, isn't going to set well.
The grandfathered Ipad unlimited data plan won't be around long anyway.
We'll see. AT&T might leave the old UPlan users alone if there's a high attrition rate due to the factors Cherhall mentioned.
That would be nice if they just left the plans in place, but I bet right now there is a large amount of 3G users signing up for the unlimited plan. If I had a 3G I would be all over it.
Of course another thing to look at here is that these plans may be changing due to the impending implementation of 4G, if 4G is truly 10X the speed of 3G, then a person could blast past 5GB in no time, so if they throttle the plans back now they can maybe protect their outdated network a little longer.
I also believe that AT&T blindsided Apple on this. I know some believe that Apple colluded on it, but I don't. I think if Apple had known they would have advertised the new plans upfront. This bait and switch does nothing for Apple at all.
What angers me is not the new plan for the iPad as much as the sudden change a little more than a month after introduction. I currently have unlimited for the iPad, but I can't afford to keep it up and had always planned to start and stop it at will. At least AT&T isn't forcing us onto contracts for iPad service, YET. After next month I'm quitting it for a couple of months because I won't be traveling and have very poor 3G coverage at home.
P.S. One more thought. How long do you think it will be until the 2 GB plans for the iPad are back up to $30? I think they only dropped it down to $25 because if they hadn't, the resulting storm would have made hurricane Katrina look small.