Verizon To Offer Unlimited Data Plan To iPhone Customers For Limited Time Only
Verizon made a bold statement earlier today when it announced that it would be offering the same $30 unlimited data plan for the iPhone as it offers for all of its other smartphones. The company backpedaled though also updating its announcement – saying it would only offer the unlimited iPhone data plan “for a limited time.” Those of you who get in during the window will have unlimited data on their iPhones throughout the life of their Verizon contract though. The company also declined to comment on how long the temporary unlimited offer would last but it said that after the initial period, but it will move to a tiered system similar to the one used by AT&T, which makes its smartphone customers pay for the amount of data they consume.
In June, AT&T slashed the starting prices of its data plans, but also added caps to them and eliminated its unlimited plan. AT&T customers now have to pay $15 a month for 200 megabytes of monthly data, or $25 for 2 gigabytes and an additional $10 for each gigabyte of monthly data usage that exceeds the allotted 2 GB limit. So even though the cheapest available monthly iPhone voice plus data plan on AT&T is $54.99, compared to $69.99 on Verizon, customers that download 2.1 GB of data on their iPhones will pay $69.99 if they have Verizon — compared to $74.99 on AT&T. For a limited time though. Verizon’s plan is also much cheaper for those who consume large amounts of data on average (because it is unlimited of course). This isn’t hard to do either – if you want to watch Netflix on your iPhone using a mobile connection, 2 GB only gets you between six and 12 hours of streaming movies and TV shows, depending on the bit rate.
When first unveiled earlier this month, Verizon Wireless declined to discuss the iPhone’s data plan pricing. The fueled speculation that Verizon would go the way of AT&T and introduce a tiered plan, ditching the unlimited option. The company seemed to recognize that it would be a competitive mistake. “I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot,” Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s chief operating officer, told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. He said that moving towards a tiered data plan would reduce the number of iPhone customers that would defect from rival AT&T. But after initially backing his comments, the company pulled back. More details of Verizon’s data-pricing plan will be announced later, a spokeswoman said.
AT&T has been struggling with its network for years, which recently got it crowned “worst carrier” in America in a Consumer Reports survey. The company’s 20 million iPhone customers are often its most vocally unhappy customers. Still, only about 2.5 million customers are expected to defect to Verizon next month, according to numerous analyst estimates, thanks in large part to the high early termination costs that AT&T built into its contracts. The iPhone will be available to Verizon customers for pre-sale Feb. 3 and it will appear in stores on Feb. 10.
Macworld has recently reported that they have also received pricing details for the mobile hotspot feature, which is seen as one of the major selling points of the Verizon iPhone from Verizon’s Executive Director of Corporate Communications, Brenda Raney.
Raney said that Verizon iPhone owners will be able to take advantage of the 3G wireless hotspot feature for an extra $20 per month on top of the iPhone’s required voice and data plans–that’s the same price that applies to current Verizon smartphone owners[..]
The hotspot feature comes with its own 2GB monthly data pool, separate from your iPhone’s data plan[..]
The mobile hotspot feature allows users to share the iPhone’s data connection over Wi-Fi for up to 5 mobile devices. Since the hotspot feature will have its own 2GB monthly plan, users will not be able to take the advantage of Verizon’s unlimited data plans which will be temporarily offered to customers. The mobile hotspot plan seems to be better than the iPhone tethering plan that is avaialable to AT&T’s iPhone customers. AT&T offers iPhone tethering for $20 per month and users will have to share the 5GB betwen the iPhone and their Wi-Fi connected device.
What do you think of the whole ordeal? Do you plan on switching over to the CDMA iPhone that Verizon will be offering? Let us know in the comments below!