Apple iPhone fans are now faced with a dilemma as Verizon is saying goodbye to their unlimited data plan - is it better to buy an iPhone 4 now with unlimited data plan, or is it better to wait for iPhone 5 and be on a limited plan?
The other iPhone carrier option AT&T has dropped their unlimited data plan last year with the launch of iPhone 4, and it appears that Verizon will follow a similar footstep with the launch of the next generation of iPhone.
Verizon confirmed that it will change its data plans from unlimited to tiered options, starting on July 7. Brenda Raney, a Verizon spokeswoman, wrote an email to AllThinggsD that the company will offer a “more usage based model”.
Although Verizon has not officially announced the details, Droid Life and AndroidCentral had been providing information on the new plans, based on their sources.
According to their reports, the new data plans will come in four packages: $10/75MB, $30/2GB, $50/5GB, and $80/10GB. There will be no distinction between 3G and 4G LTE smartphones. The current Verizon unlimited data plan is available at $29.99.
For existing Verizon customers who are already on the unlimited data plan, the contract will be “grandfathered in”, meaning they get to keep their unlimited plan even after July 7. The unlimited data plan will remain available for new customers until that date.
The change in Verizon policy has stirred dilemma in the Apple iPhone community who had been eagerly waiting for the launch of iPhone 5, which is rumored to come out in September.
Joe, a current iPhone 3GS holder on AT&T plan, has emailed a question to Ask Maggie column of CNET, hoping to receive some advice on choosing between an iPhone 4 with Verizon unlimited plan versus iPhone 5 with limited plan.
According to Maggie, most people “don’t use more than 2GB”, hence suggesting to wait until the iPhone 5 launch.
While it may be true that still the majority of people do not use more than 2GB, Nielsen has reported a significant 89 percent increase in data usage among smartphone users over the past 12 months.
Jim reported on Clicker Blog that 2GB will only allow “200 minutes of standard-quality video watching”.
Should one then get an iPhone 4 now with the unlimited plan and then upgrade to iPhone 5 when it comes out and keep the plan?
The drawback is obviously the price.
While the iPhone user can keep their unlimited plan even after upgrading to a new phone, he or she has to pay the full price for the new device. Currently, a 16GB iPhone 4’s full retail price is listed at $649, whereas it is possible to get the same one for a subsidized price of $199.99 with a 2-year contract. The 32GB unlocked model costs $749 but the subsidized price is $299 with a 2-year contract. The price for iPhone 5 is not known yet, but it will probably not be cheaper than iPhone 4.
What would you do? Go for the iPhone 4 and enjoy using the data without having to worry about how much you are downloading? Or wait till this September and get the new iPhone 5, but put a cap on data usage?
Leave your comments below.