New to AT&T? Wanna text? Unlimited texting is now only option

Big changes are on the way for new customers joining AT&T, America's second largest wireless carrier. AT&T is killing its $10 for 1,000 text messages plan in favor of one choice: $20 for unlimited texts starting August 21.

So, basically, if you're switching from another carrier to AT&T for any regular cellphone or holding out for the GSM version of the iPhone 5 and want to do texting, you'll be bullied into the unlimited option.

AT&T's reason below:

"Starting August 21, we're streamlining our text messaging plans for new customers and will offer an unlimited plan for individuals for $20 per month and an unlimited plan for families of up to five lines for $30 per month. The vast majority of our messaging customers prefer unlimited plans and with text messaging growth stronger than ever, that number continues to climb among new customers. Existing customers don't have to change any messaging plan they have today, even when changing handsets."

It's a big blow to people who don't need unlimited texting — like me. I went from a $5 for 200 texts (now gone) up to the $15 for 1,500 texts (now gone), down to the $10 for 1,000 texts (soon to be gone) as I realized I only use only about 500 or so a month. I don't need the unlimited option and would rather save the extra $10 per month to grab a juicy burger.

As long as you've got the plan now, you'll be grandfathered in. But tough luck if you ever leave AT&T and come back, you'll be be dropping the full $20 for unlimited texting — texts you might not even need.

Come August 21, it'll be a sad day to be a new AT&T customer signing up for texting. Flexibility and choice is now something that doesn't go hand-in-hand with AT&T. One can only wonder how this will affect T-Mobile's texting plans if AT&T's acquisition of it is approved.

Engadget, via ArsTechnica

For the latest tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @dvice