Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
We learned two things today that may disappoint some Verizon iPhone buyers:1) That Verizon would eventually phase out unlimited-access data plans, in favour of capped plans (with overage charges).
2) That the iPhone’s “hotspot” tethering feature would cost an extra $20 per month, with a 2 GB monthly data limit, and overage charges.
The hotspot fee was a no-brainer. Verizon requires this on its Google phones, like the HTC Droid Incredible, so of course it was going to require it for iPhone customers.
Yes, there was a one-time deal where Verizon didn’t charge for the hotspot feature on Palm WebOS phones, but that’s probably because Verizon wanted to clear out their inventory quick, because no one wanted to buy Palm phones.
And as far as the end of all-you-can-eat Internet access goes, just as AT&T got rid of unlimited plans last summer, it’s inevitable Verizon will, too. As people continue to use more bandwidth for things like mobile video — and eventually spend less money for voice service — carriers are going to want to get paid more for mobile Internet access. And those who use the most bandwidth should pay the most.
Bigger picture: Verizon, specifically, has never been about saving you money. Unlike carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile, which go for the “value” play, Verizon has always been a high-end carrier with high-end price tags. (In our experience, Verizon has always been among the most expensive carriers, dating back at least a decade.)
And that’s fine. But now it’s up to Verizon to prove that it can actually keep up with the iPhone crush, or its top-shelf reputation could be damaged.
Just don’t act surprised that the Verizon iPhone experience isn’t going to be cheap.