Verizon confirms $30 unlimited iPhone data plan -- for now

Verizon confirms $30 unlimited iPhone data plan -- for now

The Verizon iPhone will -- for now -- have an unlimited $30 data plan option according to what Verizon COO Lowell McAdam told the Wall Street Journal:

“I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot,” he said. Not offering an unlimited plan would put up a barrier for customers who might otherwise switch from AT&T, he said. The country’s No. 2 carrier still has millions of subscribers grandfathered into unlimited plans they signed up for before AT&T switched to tiered pricing last summer.

Once they've lured in those AT&T switchers, however, McAdams said Verizon will also, eventually move towards tiered and capped plans of their own.

AT&T went from unlimited to 256MB and 2GB plans last year. Anyone going to jump on Verizon unlimited before they follow suit?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Verizon confirms $30 unlimited iPhone data plan -- for now


A lot. MyWi was by far the best $20 app I've ever paid for. I had the cracked version and it worked so well that I uninstalled it and got the real version. 17gb was between the two lines on the account, but still, it's a lot of data that I don't think would fly on the big red ship.

Got unlimited on my BB Tour on VZW now - nice to know I can keep it on an iPhone, and be grandfathered going forward.

same here I have unlimited now with verizon and glad I will be able to keep it once i get the iphone and be grandfathered in

If VZW was the only cell carrier in the world, I'd go without a cellphone. So my answer is no. Plus, I like being able to use stuff like Maps and email while I'm on a call.

So you have so little regard for people you're talking to and can't devote your full attention to them and need to do "other stuff" like email on your phone at the same time? (sarcasm) -- really, that's no big deal to Verizon smart phone users. Those who have a need for an always available data connection already have a data solution that meets their needs that does not involve their phone.

X2, I could really care less about using maps and other things while on a call, although it is convenient when sharing information in a working setting, but I wouldn't choose Verizon over a rotary phone, simply because I would rather deal with coverage issues or pay more than have to deal with Verizon's deceptive, manipulative, and downright abusive overall service.
I don't care if their marketing wants to believe they have the most reliable network...I wouldn't wish Verizon upon my worst enemies.

Until that LTE rolls out heavily...this may be the main selling point they have. Along with their "superior" service also.

Verizon had an unlimited $15/day data plan on their MiFi, then pulled that - apparently $15 a day wasn't enough price gouging. Any time a cell phone carrier announces an unlimited plan, it is a bait and switch, pure and simple.

Haha, they are doing all they can to dig into the AT&T share of the iPhone. Many people will switch because there are still people out there that aren't smart enough to pick the carrier before they pick the phone.

Did I miss where he said it's $30? That may be the current rate, but he only said unlimited. Anyhoo, as others have noted, it's a blatent bait and switch. Personally, I was grandfathered into the AT&T unlimited but I gladly dumped it for the cheaper plan. Despite what the geeks say, the majority of people don't need unlimited and the current infrastructure can't handle everyone streaming 24x7.

I know I remember last year when AT&T switched, Verizon said they would always offer their unlimited data on 3G. I think the tiers alludes to the upcoming 4G LTE rollout. I will say, I have an old voice plan and they never force me to upgrade. They ask, each time, but I decline. I have unlimited data for $30 and 5GB Mobile Hotspot at $0 (palm pre). The category doesn't list it as any special promo or anything, so I wonder if that, too, will be grandfathered in. I tend to doubt it, but if the plans truly are set up without relation to a phone, you never know.

No doubt unlimited will end before they get simultaneous voice and data. That limitation saves them a little bandwidth.

Here's my thought. If you move to VZW and get grandfathered in to a $30/mo unlimited dataplan, then you are "Grandfathered In" for the life of your contract. Oh, I think that means unlimited tethering as well? Personally it would cost me about $700 to kill my 2 ATT iphone contracts and Laptop data plan. With a laptop and an ipad, the unlimited, hotspot VZW plan sounds kinda nice. Would save me $80/mo.

You're right!!! Even now the iPhone 4 are very rare to obtain. Some people have to wait months to get one from a carrier. :)

There's no grandfathering on the Verizon plan. It's a single contract temporary unlimited only before moving to tiered at renewal. Read the quote and the article more closely.

Gotta love that grandfather clause. I'm making it worth while. Using all the data I can, being the reason they don't offer it to everyone else.

Read the fine print. Check out your average monthly data usage. Does it justify $360.00 a year. $30.00 a month unlimited sounds good at first, but there may be better data plans to choose from based on your usage. I was stuck with verizon when they bought out Alltel. I got the "we are going to save you money" spil, and my bill went up 10 bucks. I know all carriers are in the business to make money. Just do not give me hidden fees. Be up front and open about it. Oh yea, verizon changed their 30 day return to 14 days. I will have to admit, if I choose to get the iPhone now because I need one, I would look closely at my data usage, and see who can give me the best deal. Reception in my area is great for both companies. It will come down to the deal, and what the deal will di for me long term. I am at a great point. My two year contract with verizon is up the end of this month. Just in time to decide.

You have the right to be released from your contract if there are any fee changes that you do not agree too. If you were under contract with Alltel and then Verizon upped your bill $10 for whatever reason, you had the legal right to be released from the remainder of your contract without paying an ETF. The same goes for anyone under contract, any fee change under an existing contract gives you the legal right to terminate the contract without penalty.

Well it depends if 2GB really gas been enough for people who were on the unlimited. If 2GB is good enough then verizon's unlimited isn't going to attract any ATT customer based on this data plan. For people who never had an iPhone it may be a little misleading and more difficult to choose. Im still with my unlimited ( family ) data plan.

Gotta love it. *unlimited data plan (note the asterisk)- until we feel like changing the rules OR we've suckered enough of AT&Ts customers to switch- which ever comes first.
Translation- Verizon got b!+c3 slapped by Apple- no Verizon logo- no piece of the App Store pie. So.... Verizon now is going to b!+c3 slap their customers old and new to feel better about themselves.

Lure the defectors with unlimited data and get all the new subscribers. Whats going to happen is that when the iPhone 5 comes out in July they will be stuck on their contracts. Smart move on Verizon's part, but consumers should be a bit smarter. I am grandfathered into my unlimited data with AT&T and will wait for the iPhone 5 to make a swap decision.

Exactly James! No one should be jumping ship until at least June (iPhone 5). At the very least you need to see how Verizon's network handles the increased voice and data traffic, how well iPhone works on CDMA, how AT&T improves over the next 5 months, and what offers await from both Verizon and AT&T when iPhone 5 comes out.

I second that thought. There's no way any of these money-hungry carriers will ever do rollover data plans. Maybe in other countries, perhaps.

What this article doesn't say is whether Verizon will force those people with unlimited plans to accept a tiered plan in the future; and knowing Verizon's lowbrow, greedy tactics... they will! You'll see. ;)

The reason that article doesn't say it is because Verizon (or any company) can't force you to do ANYTHING not written in your contract.
If you have unlimited now, and then they go to tiered, you'll still have unlimited. The only exception will be if YOU CHOOSE to get another device that doesn't offer unlimited pricing (such as an LTE device).
You want to know why carriers can pull all the crap people complain about? It's because most consumers are too lazy to look into how telecoms operate.

And here's where being grandfathered into AT&T's plan is superior. I have had not 1 but 2 unlimited plans for a couple of years. Both are grandfathered in. And the deal is that as long as I remain an AT&T customer, REGARDLESS of the phone I use, I will always have unlimited data. Always.
Why does this matter? Because 12 months ago our entire family plan struggled to use 100MB. Last fall my wife discovered Intervention on Netflix and watched all of it on her iPhone. Her phone alone more then cleared 2G. I only expect this level of increase to continue, especially in 5 years when my daughter gets her's.
Yes, $30 may be a lot now but you'll be kicking yourself in year or two when you're paying overages.

Yes, I am on the unlimited Verizon data plan now and will continue with it on the iPhone. Once on the unlimited contract they cannot change the rate or do anything for the life of the contract, so I'll be good for at least two years. Granted, any changes to phones or plans would be the end of the unlimited plan if they did away with it by then.

So basically there trying to get people from ATT then there going to switch to the same thing ATT has then whenever you upgrade to Iphone 5 or 6 they will make you give up your unlimited data plan or make you pay full price.

I could never give up my unlimited plan with AT&T, if I felt the need to tether I will rejailbreak when its available and redownload MiWi. I dont really have much of a need since I have a Verizon MiFi also with an unlimited plan. Currently 13 days into my billing cycle and I have used 31GBs, at this rate I should hit about 65-70GBs. Verizon loves me :)

I wonder if their unlimited will be like t-mobile. With them u have all the data u want but once you reach a certain amount they cap your speed. That's not truly unlimited.
AT&T would be smart to bring back unlimited, maybe for a higher price for those who want it and aren't grandfathered. Could sell it like "all the data u want, even while on the phone".

But AT&T does have unlimited for a higher price: $10 per GB, when you exceed 2GB. They aren't limiting anyone, just charging by the GB.