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Verizon to drop unlimited data in time for iPhone 5

updated 03:25 pm EST, Tue March 1, 2011

Verizon hints unlimited data ending in summer

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said on Tuesday that the carrier's unlimited data plans could come to an end in the summer. She mentioned during a that Verizon would "probably do that in the mid-summer time frame" and implied strongly that it would be timed for the expected summer launch of the iPhone 5. There could be some profit margin "lumpiness" in future quarters as Verizon took on the subsidies for a large number of iPhones, Shammo said.

Profits per subscriber would still be high, in the mid-40 percent range.

The executive justified the continuance of unlimited plans in the short term in the same way made before the iPhone 4 launch, casting it as an incentive to get early adopters onboard. Verizon "didn't want to put up a barrier" to early adopters, she said. Getting many of these customers early also meant that many of them were locked into two-year contracts that would make it hard to switch away.

A summer window would likely be meant to help minimize the impact of a genuinely new iPhone on Verizon's network. Although it has tested its network to avoid the network collapse that hit AT&T in 2008 and is still being felt three years later, the CDMA provider is likely keen to discourage the heavier uses of the network. Getting new iPhone 5 buyers on a capped plan in the summer would be one approach and would mirror AT&T's plan strategy from just before the iPhone 4, where it ended unlimited service just as many new customers were signing on.

Verizon hasn't given indications of whether its tiers will change. Tablet buyers can pay $20 for 1GB, but its $35 for 3GB, $50 for 5GB and $80 for 10GB plans would be significant price hikes that would still be a step back in service.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Bearcat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009

    +5

    Not surprising

    We all knew this was coming. Verizon even said unlimited data wouldn't last forever. One of the reasons why I got my Verizon iPhone on day one.

  1. phillymjs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2000

    +10

    Meet the new boss...

    ..same as the old boss.

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000

    +4

    Instead of making the use of data more expensive..

    the carriers should suck it up and upgrade their networks to handle all the smart phones they are selling. But, nooooooo, that would cut into their profits. As usual, the customer gets screwed. It's not just Verizon either.

  1. FireWire

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +8

    is it me or..

    ... things are supposed to get better and cheaper as the time goes by? you can buy anything cheaper and better than you could many years ago, except frigging cell phone plans...

  1. battles

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2011

    +7

    well...

    The rent too d@mn high!

  1. macmedia1

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    +4

    Greedy mobile companies!

    with Mid 40's profit margin RIGHT NOW, Verizon can afford to keep the unlimited plan without raising rates. I hope Sprint gets the iPhone 5 and their unlimited everything plan would work out great.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: Greedy mobile companies!

    with Mid 40's profit margin RIGHT NOW, Verizon can afford to keep the unlimited plan without raising rates. I hope Sprint gets the iPhone 5 and their unlimited everything plan would work out great.

    So when Apple makes huge profits, we're not allowed to complain about how they could be cutting prices or anything. But someone else makes huge profits, and they're all just greedy. Yeah, no double-standard there.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: is it me or..

    ... things are supposed to get better and cheaper as the time goes by?

    It's you. Things get cheaper. The problem is people want 'more'. So they get more, but the price stays the same.

    Take, for example, the MacBookPro. Same price as last year. It could be cheaper, but it would be last year's model. So you get more for that price.

    you can buy anything cheaper and better than you could many years ago, except frigging cell phone plans...

    With cell phone plans, it's the same thing. You all just don't want your damn voice. No, you want data. Then you want more data. And faster data. And then, somehow, all of that should come cheaper.

    If you would be happy with EDGE, you could get that for cheaper. But, no, you want 3G. Then you want them to spend billions updating their networks for 4G and the 'real' 4G and super fast speeds. All of which exacts both hardware, software, and infrastructure costs (as in "Man, now that we've got 100Mbs data plans, we need super max T3 cables connecting to our towers to handle the broadband load).

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Oh

    And how come when someone complains about Apple charging too much for their iPhone, iPad, or MacBooks, one response is always "Why should they charge less, they're selling them now at that price!" And that's a perfectly fine answer (who would be stupid enough to go "Hey, we can make 4 million iPads this quarter, and sell them all, but why sell that at $600 when we could sell them at $400?" No one would do that. It's simple supply and demand.

    And yet, all you people are buying up these data plans even at their 'ridiculous' cost (I'm sorry, $30 a month to have internet access on your phone anywhere, and people complain?). If you want the prices to drop, here's an idea. STOP BUYING IT! Verizon or ATT isn't going to offer cheap-a** plans if you all just keep buying into their current plans.

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