It’s official. The Verizon iPhone will be initially offered with a $30 unlimited data plan. Potential Verizon iPhone customers can celebrate that they will be getting the coveted unlimited data plan that AT&T stopped providing for the iPhone last June.
Verizon’s COO, Lowell McAdam, has confirmed that there will indeed be a $30 unlimited data plan for Verizon iPhone customers when product sales start in February. This move is clearly Verizon’s attempt at attracting disgruntled AT&T iPhone customers to the Verizon Wireless platform.
It looks like Verizon is pulling out the stops to attract as many AT&T customers as they can…
However, Verizon iPhone users won’t have many options for varied data plans. Verizon is discontinuing its 150 MB data plan, which costs only $15 a month. AT&T’s two plans for the iPhone include the 200 MB plan at $15 a month, while $25 will get you 2 GB of usage.
So, it looks like customers will have to buy the $30 unlimited plan if they want an iPhone on Verizon anytime soon. (If you remember, it used to be that way on AT&T too.)
Mr. McAdam told the Wall Street Journal,
“I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot. Not offering an unlimited plan would put up a barrier for customers who might otherwise switch from AT&T. The country’s No. 2 carrier still has millions of subscribers grandfathered into unlimited plans they signed up for before AT&T switched to tiered pricing last summer.”
Verizon has also said that the network does not plan to keep offering the unlimited data plan for the iPhone. The promotion is clearly for new or converted adopters who want to jump on the Verizon iPhone bandwagon early.
The WSJ concurs,
“But you’d better act fast. Speaking later Tuesday morning, Mr. McAdam said the iPhone 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.”
Carriers have been slowly moving from “unlimited” data plans to tiered pricing for some time now. While it would be nice to see Verizon put a stake in the ground and still support unlimited data plans, it’s no surprise that they plan on engaging with their competition’s tiered pricing model.
No news has been released on how much Verizon will charge for the “Personal Hotspot” feature of the Verizon iPhone. Most likely it will cost the same as their already existing tethering plans.
Verizon’s overall sales have slowed in anticipation of the iPhone coming to their platform,
“Mr. McAdam certainly doesn’t want to miss out on any sales now. Anticipation Verizon would soon offer the iPhone held back sales over the fourth quarter, he said. Analysts seemed happy with the subscriber growth, but McAdam wasn’t. “It wasn’t what I hoped it would be,” he said.”
Does this news help inform your decision about possibly switching to the iPhone on Verizon?
If you are ever offered the option for an unlimited plan, I would recommend taking it. Tiered pricing is taking over the mobile data markets, and unlimited plans will be harder and harder to come by as time goes on.
[via The Wall Street Journal]