Once it was finally confirmed that Verizon (News - Alert) would be getting its long-anticipated Apple iPhone, unanswered questions began flying. The most notable was, “What kind of data plan will be offered for it?”
Today, finally, we know. In a statement before a meeting with investors, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam (News - Alert) confirmed that Verizon will be offering iPhone buyers a $30 unlimited data plan. “I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot,” McAdam told the media, referring to the fact that the lack of an unlimited data plan might prevent iPhone enthusiasts from ditching the phone's current carrier, AT&T (News - Alert), in favor of Verizon.
Customers, you see, like unlimited data. It seems that carriers don't.
McAdam had to do a little backpedaling after the fact. Later in the day, McAdam “clarified his remarks” and said that the iPhone (News - Alert) unlimited plan “will be a temporary offer and that the carrier will follow AT&T’s move to tiered pricing in the not too distant future,” according to the Wall Street Journal Digits blog.
Back in September, Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg hinted during a press conference that the company “might take advantage of the introduction of new products and services” to introduce a new, tiered data pricing scheme. At that time, it was thought that the “new products and services” meant the introduction of the company's 4G LTE (News - Alert) network, which was rolled out to some cities at the end of last year. It would appear not, for though the change was to happen "four to six months" from September, we've heard nothing further about it.
AT&T, which once offered unlimited (or so-called “all you can eat”) data, changed its pricing last summer, moving to two “capped” 3G options: a 2GB plan for $25 a month or 200MB for $15/month. Users who had previously had the unlimited data plans were “grandfathered” into continuing their unlimited option. It's thought that by cutting back on data plans, Verizon would not be able to offer a compelling enough reason for AT&T iPhone users to drop their service and take up with Verizon.
The Verizon iPhone will be available for pre-order on Feb. 3, with actual availability to occur on February 10.
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Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf