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Verizon will officially offer buyers of its iPhone a $30 unlimited data plan when it goes on sale next month, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam told the Wall Street Journal.
But during Verizon’s investor call today, McAdam also clarified that the offer would only be temporary. The carrier plans to move to a tiered pricing model later this year, similar to AT&T’s shift last year.
“I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot,” he said. Millions of current iPhone users on AT&T were grandfathered into unlimited data plans, so McAdam wanted to offer the same flexibility if they moved to Verizon. Customers who first moved to AT&T for the iPhone 4 weren’t offered unlimited plans, and it’s likely that come the iPhone 5, Verizon will also drop the unlimited option.
It’s a wise offer, because iPhone users moving to Verizon will also be losing the ability to use voice and data functionality simultaneously due to limitations of its CDMA 3G network. Verizon needs as few barriers to entry as possible for new iPhone customers, as the carrier has a lot of ground to make up for when it comes to smartphone users. Verizon announced today that only 26 percent of its mobile subscribers have smartphones, up from around 15 percent last year.