Unlike AT&T, Verizon wants unlimited iPhone data

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

AT&T shook the world last year when it stopped offering unlimited data plans because, as assumed by many insiders, of the iPhone's tax on mobile data. But Verizon's taking a different approach. In fact, if you get a Verizon iPhone you may have no other option other than to take an unlimited data plan.

That's what a reportedly leaked internal memo says. And in fact, it doesn't just apply to the iPhone. It looks like Verizon will start charging every new smartphone to use the $30-per-month data offering.

Currently, Verizon customers who don't browse the Web on their phone that much can pay $15 a month for a 150 MB limit. People who buy an iPhone 4, or any other smartphone after the Verizon iPhone launches, won't have the luxury of that option.

This is the exact opposite of AT&T's decision, which completely stopped its offering of an unlimited data plan and forced customers to choose a capped limit of either 200 MB of data per month ($15) or 2 GB ($25). Anyone who uses more than their limit has to pay overage charges.

At the time, AT&T said the move would result in a price reduction for most of its customers, as unlimited data subscribers were by and large using much less than 2 GB per month. But most people saw it as a penalty to the top 1% of data users who ate up several gigabytes every month.

Verizon's plan is to make those 80% or so of customers who will never use more than a gigabyte of data every month, and use the money they make off of those consumers to offset the cost they pay to accommodate the extremely heavy data users.

It's probably a smart move, because AT&T received a lot of backlash from its decision, even though it is correct that the vast majority of customers get to save money. Ironically, Verizon will probably look like the more consumer-friendly carrier since no one can say it imposes a limit on how much data people can use. Of course, most people will never need that "unlimited" service, but people just don't like to feel like they're being restricted. Funny how this world works, isn't it?