Verizon unveils 3G-only prepaid plans for ‘budget-minded consumers’

verizon wireless

The nation’s top carrier, Verizon Wireless, on Friday launched new wireless plans that are only aimed at owners of 3G-enabled smartphones and tablets. New prepaid plans expand options for “budget-minded consumers”, Verizon said.

There are two plans to choose from: one costing $60 a month and the other a $70 value, tailored to your monthly data needs…

Verizon in a media release explains that these new prepaid plans provide unlimited talk and  unlimited texts, in addition to some capped data. The cheaper plan offers 500MB of data for a monthly fee of sixty bucks. Add $10 more and Verizon will treat you to 2GB of data.

Verizon prepaid smartphone plans 20130201

The carrier underscores that the new plans are available for 3G smartphones that run on the Android, BlackBerry or iOS operating systems, which in the case of Apple includes the iPhone 4 and 4S, but not the LTE-enabled iPhone 5.

Verizon activated 6.8 million iPhones out of the 9.8 million smartphone activated during the holiday quarter of 2012. Per new Strategy Analytics data, the iPhone for the first time ever is now the best-selling phone in the United States.

The firm’s data includes all cell phones – which includes dumb phones, feature phones and smartphones. Apple, as you know, only makes smartphones so the company’s success is even more pronounced.

Nielsen (US smartphone penetration 201202)

It would seem that Verizon is taking notice of the fact that smartphones seem to be peaking in the US as market penetration passed the 50 percent mark roughly a year ago. Verizon and AT&T previously said they will look into ending device subsidies after T-Mobile announced it will start selling the iPhone later this year, but unsubsidized and on monthly installments.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told Reuters that T-Mobile USA’s strategy is “very intriguing,” but wondered if consumers are ready to pay full price.

Although nearly 60 percent of iPhone owners pay more than $100 per month to carriers (with ten percent paying more than $200 each month), Verizon’s new prepaid plans are an acknowledgment of price indeed playing an important factor for owners of feature phones who are upgrading to their first smartphone.