This is NOT cool.
I just realized today that upgrading to firmware 3.0 with my iPhone 1st Gen, it killed my data connection with AT&T. I am on a PayAsYouGo plan since I use my phone very rarely. I don’t need to be paying a full contract when I do 1-2 calls per month (sometimes not even that). What I do a lot though, is use WiFi for my various data needs.
Not that I was using their EDGE connection much, which costs $10 per 1 MB (I am not that rich to throw away money at that pricing rate), but it was nice to know that it was there if I needed it. My iPhone was originally an unlocked device, but since AT&T doesn’t require activation anymore for its PayAsYouGo customers, I don’t bother unlocking it or otherwise hack it. I just use it, locked to AT&T’s service.
But this is not enough for AT&T it seems. They now disable the GPRS service altogether to those who don’t have an iPhone-specific account. They try to do what they do with Blackberry: if you don’t have a Blackberry-specific account, you can’t use their data service (and T-Mobile does the same shit as well btw), not even if you do want to pay them the crazy $10 per 1 MB rate.
The iPhone is a fully capable phone and this restriction is simply artificial and unnecessary. I find all this very disturbing, and I can’t wait for a time when people will be able to buy unlocked phones by default, like in many European countries.
There is a workaround to re-enable EDGE, but I don’t want to have anything to do with their stinky service anymore, so I won’t even bother. I will just use my phone even less now.