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Verizon iPhone has unlimited data, sparks Osborne effect [U]

updated 11:05 am EST, Tue January 25, 2011

Verizon exec says iPhone gets 30 unlimited data

(Update: temporary) Verizon Wireless chief Lowell McAdam in a quick update confirmed leaks that the iPhone and other smartphones would be driven to the $30 unlimited smartphone plan. Keeping unlimited would make it easier for customers who signed up with AT&T after its 2GB cap imposition to jump to Verizon at the next opportunity, he said. The soon-to-be company CEO argued to the WSJ that it would be foolish to cap plans as the iPhone arrived and reduce the incentive to switch.

"I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot," McAdam said.

The strategy will also be a way of raising the average revenue per person at the network. Leaks have shown the carrier is about to drop its $15, 150MB plan. While criticized for being too small, it would also have lowered the price for very casual data use. AT&T users can pay much more if they go over the 2GB cap but will pay about $5 less per month if they stay under and have the option of a 250MB basic plan.

He further acknowledged that demand for the Verizon iPhone was enough to have sparked an Osborne effect among customers. Despite public non-denials in which the carrier hoped would get customer to buy as usual, many customers assumed the iPhone was coming to the network and skipped buying Android and BlackBerry devices during the fall. Although some investors liked news of the 955,000 new subscribers added during the period, McAdam considered it disappointing as it meant lost potential sales.

"It wasn't what I hoped it would be," he explained.

Until it had confirmed an iPhone deal, Verizon had lashed itself almost exclusively to Android in the hopes of countering the success AT&T has had with the Apple handset. HTC, Motorola and Samsung devices using Android have become the dominant devices but have mostly been cannibalizing BlackBerry subscribers and only rarely attract customers from other carriers. Overall subscriber additions have slowed down at Verizon in the past year even as AT&T's have gone up.

Update: In a follow-up, McAdam said the unlimited data would be temporary and that Verizon would move to tiered pricing soon after. No leaks have emerged of what that would involve, but it's doubtful the $15 150MB plan will return.

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    are you listening, AT&T?

    unlimited data @ $30/mth. Bring it back.

    And if you aren't going to do that... then at least make a frickin' app that can help customers easily monitor their data usage.

    Because otherwise, it sure seems like you're trying to F us in the A with your rapacious data overage charges.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    I like it

    Soon as mine ends with AT&T, I'm jumping ship. I don't care if I can do concurrent data and voice. The cap from AT&T is really pissing me off.

  1. BMWTwisty

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2008


    Not so fast...

    Verizon's unlimited plan is temporary and will be replaced with a tiered plan.

  1. equitek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2001



    And what about tethering? How much will that cost extra? $10, i'm in sure, $20 most likely, $30 a month and now I'm getting annoyed.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    osborne effect

    Yeah, that's it. It was everyone waiting for the iPhone that caused people not to upgrade their phones in the fall. That's why your numbers are flat. It wasn't for any other reason, like the fact your verizon, the comcast of the wireless world. Nah, not that. It can't be that maybe in this economy, phone users realized "Hey, I don't need to get a new phone every damn year just because I can. I'll save my money and stick with what works anyway."

    Nah, it isn't that. It's everyone waiting for the iPhone. Yeah, that's it.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    unlimited data

    What happens with data will be just one of two things (it works just like any oligarchy):

    Verizon will change to match the plans from ATT and others.
    ATT will change back to unlimited.

    The airlines do the same thing. One will cut prices, raise prices, add fees, etc. Then the others watch and check the feedback. If they like what they see, or think it'll work, they'll do the same thing (hence why, all of a sudden, most airlines now charge fees if you decide to fly with anything but the clothes on your back, and even then, they'll probably charge you a $25 jacket storage charge). Or they'll not move, and the guinea pig will go and change his prices back to match the others.

  1. msteffer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    250 MBs of data

    Please site your source for 250 MB data plan. I have seen this mentioned multiple times on MacNN. The only one I'm aware of is a 200 MB plan.

  1. apple4ever

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2001


    Not surprised about the update

    Verizon wants to nickel and dime us to death, so I bet with the iPhone 5 they will go back to tiered pricing.

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