I am pretty sure that anyone with a sane thought in their head could have deduced that mobile users would much prefer having unlimited plans but it took research firm Sanford Bernstein asking 800 smartphone users to find this out.
One other thing the research found out is that it is more about device loyalty rather than carrier loyalty – yet another DUH! moment. As equities analyst Craig Moffett was quoted as saying in an Ars Technica post:
“The new conventional wisdom is that carrier loyalty has been replaced with loyalty to the device. But high inclination to switch carriers and phones to maintain an unlimited plan suggest that perhaps the plan itself is more important than either one,”
He goes on to say in the post:
Moffett said that carriers who retain an unlimited option could definitely attract more customers, but also warned that it could be a blessing in disguise. “Unlimited data plans could become a major source of differentiation, attracting customers and giving still-unlimited carriers a subscribership boost,” Moffett said. “At the same time, however, carriers who maintain unlimited pricing in the face of AT&T’s move to usage based pricing could self-select to the heaviest users, impairing future profitability.”
Of course all this implementation of tiered pricing is coming at a point when we are increasingly being urged to use our smartphones for more and more data intensive purposes – like watching TV and movies.