The rumors have been proven true and Verizon has taken their iPhone to the dark side.
The tiered data plan has been an assumption for the Verizon iPhone for months now, especially since AT&T did it previously and has made it stick. Much of the original excitement for the Verizon iPhone, besides the better coverage area, was this unlimited data plan that many newer AT&T customers have missed out on. Now Verizon has finally given up this edge and given into commerce, a story that is not that surprising.
What is somewhat interesting, and definitely a blow to the new influx of customers Verizon was receiving, is the pricing of their data plans. The breakdown sees a basic three-tiered system that goes for all smart phones on their network, not just the iPhone. The base plan comes in as $30 for a 2GB plan with a $10 per GB overage fee. The middle plan rounds out to $50 for a 5 GB plan with a $10 per GB overage, and the largest plan is $80 for a 10 GB plan with the same $10 per GB overage fee.
The AT&T plan comes in at only $25 for 2GB, or 4 GB for $45. There is also a basic plan of 200 MB for $15 available. This does not make the plans roundly cheaper, but definitely a better option for those that do not need constant 3G connectivity. The 2GB plan is efficiently cheaper, and the 4 GB plan for $45 may end up making more sense for users than the 5 GB Verizon plan.
This is likely not going to be enough of a difference in plans to actually make a user switch services, but it could sway new customers in one direction or another. What does shine through here, however, is that there are going to be more options so that you can get a more specific data plan.
No matter what, this is still a step down from the original unlimited plan for $29.99, which was also matched by the AT&T unlimited plan in the past. Just as with the AT&T switch to tiered data plans, Verizon users that had already signed contracts with the unlimited plan will be ‚Äö√Ñ√∫grandfathered‚Äö√Ñ√π in so as to continue to keep this unlimited package at the original price. This will even continue through the resigning of a contract, which many Verizon insiders were unsure about earlier.
What this really means for new customers is that they need to jump onto new Verizon unlimited data plan contracts immediately as only those with contracts signed before July 7th will be able to be grandfathered, which is when the new tiers are going to be officially introduced. This should create a huge influx of new Verizon customers or account upgrades so as to take advantage of this deal, but it is unsure how this will affect new customers down the road.
Beyond the obvious data tiers there will also be a more sweeping round of changes to policy and other phone lines. First, the business discounts are currently allowed to the unlimited plan. Once the tiered system comes in it will only be applicable to the $50 plan and above, and not for the lowly 2 GB option. Basic phones will also be given two extra data options, one as a ‚Äö√Ñ√∫pay per use‚Äö√Ñ√π format at $.99 per MB as well as a 75 MB option for $10.