Thanks Meter 60
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: inside Device:RHOD500 w/ GBX0B Tablet:TF700 Infinity
Things are definitely trending towards requiring data plans for data-centric phones. The companies claim they don't want consumers to be accidentally caught in massive per-kb charges or to miss out on the phone's functionality, but the real reason is precisely what the OP is planning to do--just use wifi. I'm hoping for that option as well. That's precisely the reason that carriers were so reluctant to allow wifi on phones in the first place. Plenty of manufacturers were willing to put it in years ago--pre-iPhone, but the carriers didn't want people using wifi to avoid their data plans.
Although the common wisdom on many forums seems to be that going without a data plan for phones like this doesn't make any sense, the common wisdom is, as you'd expect wrong. Or at least wrong for some people. Plenty of people have wifi at home, work, school and most of the places they hang out, and also have a data-use pattern that doesn't require 24/7 data access.
Carriers subsidize the phones, and then make their money back on monthly contract plans. It's only very recently that viable and broadly appealing pay as you go plans have been worth looking at. Anyway, now that data is so much more pervasive, it's becoming part of how Carriers decide on how much to subsidize a phone. They can either figure what percentage of people will get data, and calculate the subsidy from that, or they can require data and not mess with figuring percentages.
WinMo is a great platform to go data-less, because you can alter the winmo registry using a program like NoData, and actually turn off the carrier data radios, to ensure that there's no data access happening in the background running up per-kb charges.
Personally, I'm looking at TP2 with ATT, and I haven't yet heard whether they have plans to require data or not. Or whether any such requirement is attached to the phone itself, or just the 2-year contract price.