The nation’s largest wireless carrier finally saw the Verizon iPhone arrive on store shelves Thursday morning. Initial reports have indicated that the crowds anticipated for the release have so far been modest. This may be due in part to the program Verizon put in place to allow existing customers to reserve the device in advance.
While the carrier has remained tight-lipped as to exactly how many of the devices were sold through this process, they have acknowledged that sales in the first two hour period topped the one day total of any other device released in the carrier’s history.
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The iPhone is expected to be a major driver of new customers for Verizon with Wall Street analysts projecting that sales could top 10 million new iPhones on the network by the end of the year. Some questions do remain as to how much of that business will be directly related to existing iPhone users abandoning AT&T. If you’ve been waiting for the opportunity to own an iPhone but have held out to avoid using AT&T, you now have another option.
How Much Does a Verizon iPhone Data Plan Cost?
In an effort to jump start sales, Verizon announced that it would offer unlimited wireless data plans at a cost of $30 per month. Before you go rushing off to your local Verizon store to sign up for a new contract, there are a few things you should know about. First, this “unlimited data plan” offer isn’t necessarily what you might think it would be.
As per their terms of service, they reserve the right to throttle data usage and downsample image and video quality to users who they deem to be consuming an excessive amount of data. Second, they are making it clear that this offer is only going to be available for a limited time.
If you want to use your iPhone as a wireless hotspot, that will cost an additional $20 per month. Eventually they will be transitioning over to a tiered pricing structure similar to the one implemented by AT&T in 2010.
It is yet to be seen how the data throttling issue will play itself out but one thing is clear, it has become an instant hot-button with consumers. The carriers are standing firm on their claims that throttling data and downsampling image data to save bandwidth only applies to around 5% of all users. This may seem like a small number at first glance but when you consider the size of their customer base, it does reach a significant volume of users.
With that being said, it appears to be more of an advertising and marketing concern than anything else at this point. The majority of folks who have taken issue with it aren’t doing so because their data usage has been capped but rather the fact that they are advertising it as “unlimited” wireless internet when in fact it does have some limitations.
The point the average user should take away from this is that for the most part, these limitations are reasonable and should not have an impact on your basic daily tasks such as checking email, browsing the web, or using an app.
For right now, it seems as if all of the major service providers are taking a similar approach when it comes to pricing wireless internet access plans. While the lure of unlimited data usage may seem attractive, chasing it probably isn’t the best way to shop for a data plan or a carrier.
If you are currently a Verizon customer and are interested in getting an iPhone, you probably don’t need to worry too much about having your data usage slowed provided that you don’t spend a lot of time watching streaming video or engaging in other data intensive activities.
In fact, you may be better off selecting a plan that provides a little less bandwidth. If you have concerns, you may want to estimate your monthly wireless internet usage with one of the handy online tools to approximate how much you actually need.
The results may surprise you, most people use less than what they think! For most users, it makes more sense to pay attention to coverage, base monthly fees, contract length, and fees for additional data consumption if you don’t have an unlimited plan.