updated 04:55 pm EST, Thu February 3, 2011
Verizon may allow legacy data plans with iPhone
Electronista has received word from those pre-ordering Verizon iPhones that they may have the opportunity to use a different cellphone plan. Those who pre-ordered the device are told that, while Apple's device normally requires the $30 or $45 data plans, they can keep the deprecated 150MB plan. Customers would only need to call a number afterwards, the message said.
"This device requires a selection of a $29.99 or $44.99 data feature to process this order," it said. "If you have a certain existing smartphone data feature (e.g. former Alltel customer, 150MB plan or a bundled voice & data plan) you can still activate the phone by calling customer service at 1-800-XXX-XXXX [our edit] upon receipt of phone & activation, and stay on your existing calling plan."
The implementation could let light users pay as little as $55 for a basic voice and data plan combo, similar to what's available at AT&T. It could also let those with grandfathered plans keep potentially better rates with their new devices. It may, however, be boilerplate language that might apply to other smartphones and was attached to the iPhone by accident.
Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney confirmed that older plans would still work.
Along with the plan changes, a handful of early buyers have claimed that their pre-orders have already shipped. Apple is only officially telling Verizon iPhone buyers to expect delivery by the February 10 wider availability date, but real shipments could see some existing subscribers with the CDMA model in their hands early next week or, in ideal conditions, on Friday.