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Verizon Could Follow T-Mobile’s Lead by Ending Carrier Phone Subsidies

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T-Mobile for the past month has been kicking around the long-held idea that the carriers should discount the price of mobile devices on their network. Subsidies like this make our phones cost less and the carriers bank on making their profit in the monthly contracts afterwards. T-Mo is planning on getting rid of these plans in 2013 and move towards other plans that they say will save customers money in the long run. Verizon and AT&T are understandably very curious how this experiment will go down. 

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam was quoted at CES this week saying that these subsidy-free plans would be a “great thing,” and that Big Red could move to those types of plans “very quickly” if the customers wanted it. AT&T’s Mobility Chief Executive Ralph de la Vega said more of the same, but doesn’t think that people are ready to pay for phones full price at the moment.

It’s no secret that the big carriers would love to make more money off the fancy new devices and phones that they sell, but  it sounds like they won’t move towards them if the customers aren’t ready for it. And the switch to this new type of plan would most likely change us from the “new every two” contracts, but don’t believe that the carriers won’t get their cut.

Do you want to do away with carrier subsidies? What would you like to see them do instead?

Via: WSJ

  • Kheir Francis

    Lets just see how this pan’s out. Verizon is a decent carrier, expensive for no reason, but there the best.

  • RaptorOO7

    The only way Verizon gets squat out of this is IF customers can take any CDMA phone they want on their network otherwise why would you bother. You can go from GSM carrier to carrier with ease.

    I for one would NOT pay verizon $700 for what a device I can’t use anywhere else, there is no benefit for me to have a $700 paper weight sitting on my desk. The prices on these phones are too high as it is and customers not likely to jump on the bandwagon.

  • AnotherAndroidKid

    Tablet and world wide google free wifi.

    F Off VZ.

  • VinMessina

    Until carriers start offering cheaper plans for those who purchase full retail, I could care less. Buying a device at retail saves me no money. All it does it keep me contract free. Either lower the retail price of the phone or lower my monthly bill as an incentive for purchasing full retail. Otherwise, STFU.

  • dffx

    I actually just did this recently; ditched VZW (my contract ended in October) and bought a TMo Note 2 at retail cost. Wasn’t cheap, but I am now on the $30 / month unlimited data and text plan, so I should end up in a better spot, financially, in 2 years than I would have if I stayed with VZW.

    Also, better reception in the city and HSPA+ has some stellar battery life, while still getting around 15mbps.

  • ROB

    We need google to buy tmobile and use the spectrum from dish and clearwire and bury the bastards..

  • MooleyBooleyTroll

    When Verizon gives me an option for 500 minutes, 5000 texts, and 5GB data for $50 I will consider going back.. Until then, they can kiss my ass… My $30 T-Mobile plan is sufficient.

  • master94

    Difference from T-Mobile and vzw. Vzw will stop discounts but will charge the same, while T-Mobile will drop monthly price. So screw you vzw.

  • hhhmmm so $100/month plans with no contract, how about no

  • wtsamatta

    I think that technology will take a hit. I doubt that millions of people will be willing to fork over 6-700 for the next best phone every year or 2.

  • TheWenger

    Most people don’t know that they would be better off with a cheap prepaid plan and buying a phone full price.

  • Aaron

    The carriers are too greedy for this to be good for their customers. Especially Verizon and AT&T, who will still charge full contract price no matter what. But if I can get a Nexus phone for $300 with Verizon coverage for $30 a month I’m in.

  • Splicer78

    The only way this works is if CDMA is banned as a tech, otherwise you can buy a new phone for 6 bills but your still stuck as a vzw cust (maybe if Sprint if the fcc requires them to be multi band) so they only difference is the price you pay up front for the device. If they forced all of them to be gsm multi band phones then this model would be more like a lot of EU countries were you take YOUR phone to whoever has the best deal for a few months and then tell em to sod off when you find something cheaper/better. I just don’t see this working in the US anytime soon

  • lynahred

    If they stop the subsidy, can I keep my unlimited day plan?

    Short answer, no. Why? Because they own me.

    • lynahred

      That’s data. Thanks t9flex for editing my squiggles.

  • Verizon – “Let’s cut the phone subsidies and keep our rates as high as possible” I will not be going back to verizon as soon as my contract is finished

  • duke69111

    Would there still be contracts if they did away with subsudies.

  • I think that the statement made by Lowell was the most idiotic thing I’ve heard from a CEO…. The only thing that would make me pay full price for a device from Verizon is…… Well…. Not a damn thing…. I can’t see myself paying 700 bucks for a phone, getting locked into an overpriced plan…. But getting limited data tier plans (I am on the unlimited data, and plan to keep it that way even when its contract end time…..how, you ask? EBay or craigslist…. Buy a phone for much cheaper there and let the contract run up…. You still keep your unlimited data, and best of all if you’re sick of Verizon you can leave because the line switches from “contract” to month to month….. There are loopholes for everything….), and Verizon Isis without the option for Google Wallet, as well as all the Verizon crapware that’s on the devices along with locked boot loaders for all those that feel root is a far better option, is NOT enough to warrant spending more for a phone than a Windows 8 computer/tablet….. Far to many restrictions on their service to have me pay that much….

  • Whether they choose to do this or not, they won’t lower the prices of their plans. This would just mean more profits for them.

  • danofiveo

    Personally, I think these carrier subsidies contribute to artificially raising the prices. I think if they were eliminated altogether, then manufacturers would be compelled to compete on price as well as features.

  • Lucky Armpit

    Don’t know about you, but I sure can’t afford an $800 phone. I say it starts with the phone manufacturers. They MUST lower their prices. If they don’t, no one will ever buy a new phone and it will be a domino effect.

  • JolleyMan

    To keep my unlimited plan, I’m buying unsubsidized, anyway. That said, I’m noticing a lot of people criticizing big corporations for putting profits first. It won’t make me popular to state that companies not interested in making profit are ones in which I would never consider investing. Of course, I’m not advocating making products and services unattainable, but you do have other options if you dislike Verizon. I prefer Verizon’s network over the other options in my region and am willing to place my money behind their service (then call customer retention and see if I can persuade someone to cut me a break).

  • indiana85

    This isn’t anything new, this is how Cricket Wireless works you pay full price for the phone & your bill is somewhat less. Also all phone companies have this, you could walk into any of them & outright buy any phone for $500-$700 bucks, but who really has the money nor wants to do that?

  • Tim Buchanan

    This actually makes perfect sense. I think we should buy phones like we buy computers, and pay for service like we pay for internet. If you think about it, buying a Verizon subsidized phone is like buying a Comcast subsidized laptop. Doesn’t makes much sense.

  • DC_Guy

    Well I already pay full price in order to keep my unlimited data so whatevs.

  • Trevor

    I would like them to do away with subsidies if:

    1) They lowered the price of their monthly plans

    2) It was possible to buy “unlocked” phones from non-Verizon locations and use them on Verizon, which I’m assuming won’t happen until their LTE roll-out is complete and they have VoLTE up and running (plus phones to support it).

  • i really don’t think people are ready to pay full price for their devices quite yet! I was waiting in line at the Verizon store the other day when a lady in front of me heard the price of another customer’s grand total of $650 for a smartphone (I didn’t look to see which one) and the first thing that came out of her mouth was “I would NEVER pay $650 for a phone!!”. I guess the market has just been flooded with both subsidized devices as well as these cheap $20 and $40 pre-paid Android phones that can be picked up from Walmart to where customers don’t realize the full cost of a real smartphone.

    • Hey Champ, what is a real smartphone then? You can pick up a Nexus 4 for $299.

      • The Nexus 4 is an amazing smartphone but it is currently not offered on Verizon and even if it was Verizon would jack the price up to their standard $599 (they did the same thing to the GN last year). Point is,if Verizon went to no subsidized devices the average customer probably wouldn’t know that Verizon charges more (average of around $600 for an Android device and $650+ for an iPhone).

        • The Galaxy Nexus was that retail price to begin with. It wasn’t released at a lower price until 6 months later.

          And of course the Nexus 4 isn’t on Verizon. If Verizon ever gets another Nexus device again I’ll eat my left shoe – they completely kill the model and put a bad name out for Google. How’s that 4.2 update doing on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus?

          • SeanBello

            pretty great thanks to AOKP lol

          • james

            If they expect anyone to pay full price the first damn thing that better go is all their crappy bloatware they add to a phone. Just buy from manufacturers. (Its bad enough they skin androids without the carriers adding their nonsense.) There will never be a Verizon phone worth it though since your stuck with one carrier using it.

  • tvBilly

    How can anyone believe that VZW will lower the prices of their plans under any circumstances? They never have in the past, and their sharing plans don’t save 95%+ of their customers money. Does anyone believe that paying full price for your phone will get you a discount from VZW? It certainly doesn’t now. I don’t hate VZW, I just accept that they cost more, and I’m willing to pay that because (for me) they have MUCH better coverage, MUCH better LTE, and very good customer service.

  • etg9

    Verizon might end the subsidies and give you like $5/mo for a shared plan saving you $120 for 2 years while only spending $400 more on each phone.

    I’m with everyone here. dumb pipe, stay out of my business. let me change my phone as often as I want. If it’s realistic savings I would spend more on devices.

  • yarrellray

    Tmobile is leading the way personally this is a great idea let’s see how this pans out.

  • Teng Taing

    I already have to pay full price if i want a new phone in order to keep my Unlimited plan anyways….

  • EC8CH

    “Big Red could move to those types of plans “very quickly” if the customers wanted it”

    it will make them more money.

  • anezarati

    i wish they would just have a phone financing plan and a data/voice/text plan. it would be transparent as to what you are paying for the phone and the service. then once the phone is paid off, you would just have to pay for the service and lower your monthly bill.

  • I’ve been a verizon customer for a long time now. I do have an unlimited plan and know that I’ll be forced off of it the next upgrade cycle unless I buy a phone out right. I just don’t see myself doing that with the prices of verizon. I’m paying way too much for 2 phones and I even have a corporate discount.

    I’m not sure what planet the McAdam is living on, but I think that most folks WON’T be very excited about losing subsidized phones.

    • I’ve already decided I won’t be buying subsidized phones ever again. The $70-80 additional monthly cost to me if I go to VZW’s Share Everything far outweighs the discount I get on a new phone.

      I’ll shop eBay or elsewhere and buy gently used.

      My hope is Google will eventually offer an unlocked VZW phone, a la Nexus 4 — that’s an ideal price-point imho, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • that would make alot of customers go away if cell phone providers charged retail for a phone

  • Srini

    People are forgetting one important thing.

    Initiation/Account setup fee. This will never go. So even if there is no contract, what happens is people will be reluctant to jump carriers because of the 39.99 fee they have to pay.

    So prices remain the same, no contract but people still end up sticking to carriers because of the 39.99 fee(they could increase this) AND customers pay 600 for the phone.

    Be prepared to get stripped.

  • Im already on a subsidy free plan….it’s called keeping 4Glte unlimited.

  • mgamerz

    I don’t get why if I bring an unlocked device to a carrier, I don’t get a discount in service. They aren’t paying a subsidy anymore so I’m just getting assraped by them. (non-prepay)

    • Pedro

      Go prepay!
      Assraped < non-assraped

      • mgamerz

        Big red has no prepay for let phones afaik

  • Jay

    They would have to offer truly unlimited data plans. Seriously, the reason why family/shared-data plans worked well in 2012 was because THAT WAS THE ONLY OPTION.

    Verizon has great coverage, great speed, and offer great phones, I’ll give them that. But when it comes to being a business, they literally screw over their customers.

  • I think going subsidy free will do a few things.

    Once customers get past the initial shock of the price of real phones they will demand phone get cheaper. We have already seen an example of phones going without subsidy for a reasonable price. Google. The Nexus 4 is an amazing phone, and sold at a reasonable price. It is entirely possible that Google is themselves subsidizing the under the carpet to make the Android platform viable, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Once phones get to reasonable prices and people are over the initial shock of spending $300 out-of-pocket for a phone the plans will begin to drop in price. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and whomever else will have to start to compete on pricing again. Right now they are all sort of hover around one another. When subsidies are gone, and people learn to deal with that it frees up the customer to deal with the issue of ever rising bandwidth pricing.

    I wouldn’t guess this to be a long process, if T-Mobile makes it after going subsidy free. That is the big question though, will they make it.

    • Pedro

      I see Google making money on the Nexus 4. They just don’t want huge freaking margins.
      Maybe 5% on the 8 GB, more on the 16GB (really, it’s not $50 more for the flash chip!). Get folks into the Play Store. Get more gmail addresses that require tracking/info/ads. Profit forever!

      Oh, and show these folks Google Maps, Gmail, and all the other assorted Google add-on services.

      Long term thinking.
      Oh, maybe get a wireless network.

      • Google’s model is fantastic, really. I’ll let them data mine me for ads as long as I live so long as their services continue being awesome. A significant portion of my life is tied in to a Google account, and frankly I love it that way.

        • SeanBello

          me too…no issues at all. worth it all day.

  • Jon Fairbanks

    “If that’s what our customers want…..” Uh…… have you taken a look at your FB lately? EVERYONE wants unlimited data. If that’s what we want… why are you not giving it to us?!?

  • DanWazz

    Of course Verizon is excited to make you pay full price for your phone, then charging you exactly the same amount (or more) per month. It’s win/win… for Verizon.

  • trav23

    we paid full price for 2 galaxy nexuses, and are on t-mo’s $30 for 100 talk minutes, unlimited text and unlimited data throttled at 5gb. over the course of 2 years, we’ll save several hundred dollars, even if my wife blows out her talk minutes a couple months.

    i’d like to see someone go back to truly unlimited data, but so far i’ve kept myself to around 4.5 gb/month.

    • quiklives

      I have this same plan, but I also set up Google Voice through Groove IP for unlimited VoIP. Not that I talk on the phone that much anyway, but it’s nice to have.

    • Droidzilla

      Compared to Verizon, you actually save a ton more. If you’re both using ~4GB, you’d need to be on Verizon’s 8GB shared plan. That would be $170/month. Assume you got phones for $199 each for a total of $398. That comes out to, before taxes and fees, $4478 for the 24 month contract duration.

      Now let’s assume you went with 16GB Nexus 4s on T-Mobile’s $30/month prepaid. That’s $698 for the phones. After 24 months, you’re in it for $2138.

      Total savings on T-Mo/Google’s method: $2340 over the life of the contract. $97.50 a month.

    • gup460

      T-Mobile has truly unlimited. Change your plans. The data is also ten dollars less than you are paying for 5gb throttled.

      • trav23

        they have a $20/month plan? do you have a link to it?

  • I am probably going to start buying all my phones at full price anyway from now on. That way I can have the latest and greatest all the time and I can just sell my “old” phone and get the new one for not that much afterwards.

  • sirmeili

    Only as long as the nuke the contracts as well. With no subsidy, there are no reasons for contracts.

    • Big_EZ

      If they go this route (non-subsidized phone) I think they’ll keep the same price and offera discount for contracts

    • james

      Yup. Then for the carriers it will be, to everything churn, churn, churn. Haha

  • summit1986

    Ultimately, it means you can back out of a contract as long as you pay whatever outstanding balance is remaining on your phone. Assuming they break up the cost of the phone over two years.

  • ToddAwesome

    Dear Lowell McAdam, I’m a customer, I definitely did not ASK for Share Everything.

    • Taylor Rosenberg

      well just like how childrent cant share there toys without fighting we cant share data without ditching verizon and we dont want it or need it. I already pay $85 for unlimited data 1000 text and 450 minutes i dont need anymore with that even tho i dont use a lot of data i dont need a data cap unlimited data is good to have otherwise screw u verizon i hope tmobile or sprint comes to my place soon so i can switch

    • Havoc70

      +1000 < This

  • Bret

    They’ll remove the subsidies, making us pay full price or higher, and then raise the monthly fees for the convenience. Of course, that will also introduce the five year contracts with $1000 cancellation fees.

  • This would be awesome, except for that little fact that this plays well for Vzw because they know you can’t take their phones anywhere, except maybe Sprint. They know that even if they don’t subsidize and lower the price, you still have to stay with them, because where else are you going to take your phone?

    • james

      Precisely why I left them. Unlocked GSM all the way!

  • faber

    sounds like a good excuse to end unlimited data for good….one way or another, they’ll get it done.

  • Eyebolt

    I’m already there…since I’m currently one of the grandfathered “Unlimited” data plan guys on Verizon…I’ll never be buying a subsizdized phone from them again.

    • sirmeili

      until they nix your unlimited plan. It will happen sooner or later. I’m already planning on going somewhere else (away from Verizon) when my contract ends next November. If they offer these plans at competitive prices, I’ll see about staying, but I’m looking at close to $50/month for almost unlimited everything for me to stay.

      • Same here. If they drop unlimited, it’s time to go shopping. I have a friendly-looking Tmobile store down the street…

      • Eyebolt

        Yeah…I fully expect that to happen some day. However…some other carrier would have to really beef up their network for me to leave Verizon. I’d rather pay a bit of a premium for a network that just works everywhere I go (4G is great too)…no other carrier has that footprint for me yet.

        • sirmeili

          Yeah, well where I live, I only get 3g (Verizon)…we only get 1G from AT&T and they said they will never bring 3g here. Who knows if AT&T will ever get 4G here. I work from home, so my time spent away from home where I would need the data is limited. I’m a special case where “speed” isn’t all that important as having a phone for a phone. I do hope that I can get close to or faster than 3g speeds when I switch though because it makes it easier when I am out and about.

          • KraYzeE

            You need to move

          • Tony Allen

            Yeah, move so your cell service is better.. that’s logical. How about lazy carriers get off their ass and beat Verizon’s footprint?

          • sirmeili

            Move to a place with a higher cost of living, more traffic, more crime, and so on just to get faster mobile internet? No thanks. I work from home so I have 30mbps speeds on my phone about 80% of the time (the rest of the time I’m out I’m with someone else, so unless I’m looking something up that came up in conversation).

            The truth is, I live in a small town and make as much as my peers in bigger cities, but I get the benefit of little to no traffic (when I go out), a lower cost of living, and many other benefits of small town life.

            Now, would it be nice if we had 4G here? Sure. Even if I go back to AT&T, I could live with 1g speeds when I’m out (As I did before I came to Verizon).

            I guess if you’d move just for faster mobile internet, than that’s up to you. I just don’t find it all that important in the greater scheme of life.

            Oh, and yeah, I know you were just making a funny 😉

          • james

            I would really like to see how most clamoring for unlimited data on the go functioned in the days of 1 way numeric pagers that required finding a payphone. I think most are skewing the line between their needs and wants.

      • chris125

        Same here. And by that time hopefully other carriers have a larger lte footprint. Gsm for me, no more dealing with carrier bs

      • $50/month is not a bad price for the current market.

      • rockstar323

        I agree. They will wait till the majority of contracts with unlimited data are up and kill it. I honestly see them doing it before the end of this year.

        • What you need to do, even when your contract ends is hop on eBay or Craigslist and buy a phone from their… People don’t realize that just because your contract is up, doesn’t mean your service ends… They don’t pull the plug on your phone because your contract is done… They just flip the status button on your account… You then become a month to month consumer instead of an “on-contract” customer…. Your plan and pricing stays the same, you just get the option to leave at any time instead of 2 years…. There’s ways around it to keep the unlimited data, and not have to get forced into another contract….

          • But they CAN terminate your plan once the contract expires.

      • Same here as well. I’m hoping I’m way the f–k away from Montana before that happens though. There isn’t even a whisper of Sprint or T-Mobile here.

      • umgoblue80

        agreed, once my contract is up with Verizon, I will def be checking out other more affordable options. 90% of the time I am in a major city anyway, so I don’t think I’ll see much of a service change

      • Tony Allen

        I don’t see how they can really nix your data plan, so long as you don’t authorize it or force yourself into a change pattern because of changing/upgrading your account.

        • When your contract is up, they’re no longer obliged to honor it. It’s simple.

          • james

            True, and you’re also not obliged to stick with them. I buy unlocked androids and use them on prepaid sim cards, and save 50 a month. Life is good.

          • james

            And I don’t worry with using streaming on mobile data. I just get a 32gb SD card and pack it with music and movies of my choice. My own blockbuster on the go with no buffering/connection issues. Data used mostly for social/email/info/etc.

    • I lost my phone last week, used an upgrade waiver to replace the phone and they wouldn’t budge when I asked if they could keep me grandfathered.

      I’ll be switching to another carrier (probably Sprint) at the end of the contract.

      • In 2 years. Cut your losses, paying the ETF and getting MVNO is cheaper than staying on their plan.

        • tomn1ce

          That’s true, I did that about 6 years ago to Sprint and switched over to vzw…I was already fed up with sprint, I guess I was just waiting for another reason to drop them and I did. Their service sucked back then and for what I see they haven’t changed much….

        • james

          Yup and the gsm mvnos now have bring your own phone. Data is fine for around 2 GB. Grab an iPhone or android, a 50 unlimited service card, a sim card from the mvno (i’m using Net 10) and you’re golden. It’s how most of the world does it instead of contracts.

      • VZWIndirect

        Of course they wouldn’t budge…you let them pay for your phone. You could have (should have), bought a phone outright, and you would have kept your plan. With phones like the Nexus 4 for $350, and devices like the Razr now selling on ebay and Craigslist for $200, anyone who drops an unlimited plan for an upgrade deserves what they got….screwed.

      • LionStone

        Didn’t you have insurance? $100. and you would’ve got a brand new phone the next day and kept unlimited…?

    • You and me both, friend.

  • Michael33704

    The carriers (all of them, especially Verizon) are interested in one thing and one thing only: whatever they can get away with that improves their profitability. If anyone truly believes a carrier is concerned about saving their customers money….I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d be willing to let go at a incredible price…(today only).

    • sirmeili

      They have a very big interest in keeping customers happy. The fact is they don’t, but if they did, they’d likely make more money in the end. The problem is if all carriers treat their customers like crap, then customers don’t have a choice. I personally think that t-mo is much most customer oriented (pricing wise) and I plan on going there as soon as my verizon contract is up.

      • Michael33704

        In a perfect world, large corporations should be interested in “keeping customers happy” but in the real world of large corporations it simply is not so. Apparently you have not had the experience in sitting in on a board of directors meeting or a shareholders meeting. The term “keeping customers happy” is rarely used….

        • sirmeili

          Which is why I said “The fact is they don’t, but if they did, they’d likely make more money in the end.”

          I’m a firm believer in this. The problem is that they are more interested in short term gains instead of long term gains through customer loyalty and appreciation.

    • Hell, I have an oceanside beach villa in Arkansas I’d be willing to part with if saving customers money was the case…

      • Michael33704

        How about a trade?…..:)

        Sent from my iPad

  • Andrew

    I would love it is they remove phone subsidies and allow people to bring what ever phone they want onto the network for a cheaper price. The problem is that they will remove the phone subsidies with out lowering the price of the monthly plan.

    • sirmeili

      That is my fear as well….it’s like that now if you keep your phone past your contract. the price is to cover subsidies and they should lower it after contract, but they don’t.

      • anezarati

        this is exactly it. when you buy the phone for $200 you are paying the rest off with your planned contract. but they don’t lower your monthly price once the phone is paid off

        • gup

          Yes they do. The phone is paid off in 20months.

          • A1cntrler

            Your bill went down after you paid for 20 months? I want to be on that carrier…

          • tomn1ce

            He must be thinking that because you don’t have to pay the ETF you’re of the hook…. o_0

    • james

      Through mvnos on at&t and t mobile, you now can. Verizon allows a few cheaper android handsets, but if it’s doable in your area, much better to go with gsm unlocked phones.

  • Guest

    We need multi-band LTE phones.

    • sparticus

      This the only way paying full price will work. If you wanna switch carriers then pop in there Sim and go. Right now if you buy a phone for 650 dollars and want to change you have to buy another phone

  • Akeem McAllister

    I am utterly confused! If I would have to come out of my pocket and pay $400 or more for a phone my bill must be substantially low! Where is this going? I am reading it but something is not clicking? How is the consumer saving? This look like a scheme to retain more money from subscribers.

    • C-Law

      I agree. Verizon will never truly offer their customers savings as long as they are on top.

      • Akeem McAllister

        That is the main reason I am taking my money to StraightTalk. I am going to get the Nexus 4 or what ever is the “Next Big Thing” at the time. I am still locked into a contract with Big Red for a few months!

    • New_Guy

      That’s just it. Verizon is so money hungry that they will not likely lower the monthly price at all but try and justify the high price that remains. Might even go up (don’t dismiss this idea).

      From my understanding, T-Mobile actually offers a lower monthly bill for unsubsidized phones. But please, for your sake, do not hold your breath that VZW will do the same.

      • JoshGroff

        The savings is around 20/month, which is pretty substantial.

      • Akeem McAllister

        Great point! I am so ready to be out of this contract with VZW!

    • anezarati

      just do the math. if you are paying $200 for a $600 phone, ideally phone bill is about $17 more to pay off the $400 over 2 years. dont kid yourself, you are paying for the full price of the phone just not upfront. say they lower monthly payments by $20 you are saving money, but only lower it by $10 and you are losing money.

      • Akeem McAllister

        Got it! Either way I know i am going to save once I switch over to StraightTalk!!!

  • C-Law

    Verizon would probably implement this by keeping current customer pricing the same, and raising new customer prices who choose subsidized over full price so basically everyone would end up in the same position as current unlimited customers

  • Big_EZ

    I can see Verizon losing the subsidies but not offer anything in return $$$

    • Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe they’d slightly discount the “share everything” additional line fee but that could be it.

    • arturo_bandini

      In the short run. In the long run their competitors might make this impossible. If the standard becomes no contract/lower pricing then Verizon will ultimately have to compete with that.

      • Big_EZ

        They are already way more expensive than any other carrier. People pay more for Verizon because of the coverage. It’ll take better coverage from other carriers to compete for most of Verizon customers, not just cheaper service (we already have that)

        • “Better coverage” is a subjective term based on where you’re located on an average day. I’ve actually found T-Mobile to be FAR better in the Peoria, IL area then Verizon. Previous low signal / deadzone areas with both CDMA and LTE are going strong on HSPA+.

          That being said, T-Mobile’s highway coverage when traveling to say, Chicago, is mostly 2g – so Pandora streamers can stay home and not bother trying. Personally, it doesn’t bug me at all considering I got away from Verizon’s draconian policies and pricing.

          • Mchl496

            I drove from Chicago to Clinton IA and had 4g on the high way. I was surprised.

          • Tony Allen

            It’s not really though. When you look at networks across the whole country, Verizon wins. So for people that travel a lot, the sacrifices and extra cost associated with it, are worth it. There are places where T-Mobile doesn’t really even work, and there are rural places where Verizon has great and solid LTE coverage that T-Mobile and AT&T still only have EDGE.

            I hate paying as much as I do but I like to be able to use my device whenever and wherever I like, not have to worry about being away from a metropolitan area and dropping down to a draconian network that I have to fall back on because it hasn’t been important enough for them to upgrade/update it yet. It’s a double edged blade.

        • arturo_bandini

          There comes a breaking point. Verizon service really isn’t all that much higher than AT&T, or even Sprint. If, five years down the road, we end up in a situation where 2/3 of Americans are paying $30 a month with no contract and own their own phone and the other third are paying $120 month on two year contracts with a “subsidized” phone, then even the remaining Verizon subscribers are going to start wondering what they’re doing wrong. Especially once we’re all on LTE and phones are inter-operable between carriers – the temptation, even to a Verizon, for any marginal revenue is just going to be too much. They’ll find a way to flex their pricing to gain new subscribers.

      • itznfb

        Verizon needs real competition for that statement to be true.

    • itznfb

      Exactly. Sure, we’ll charge you $600 for this new phone. Just sign this 2 year contract for $150/mo.

    • TheKaz1969

      I could see Verizon doing this as a way to get rid of grandfathered unlimited data plans. “We can’t let you keep it for paying full price, because EVERYONE is paying full price now!”

  • jnt

    I would love to see this. However, I fear that Verizon would jack up phone prices even more than there usual off-contract prices.

    • jnt

      *their

    • james

      I don’t like Verizon because of their proprietary tech. I can get an unlocked gsm phone, stay out of contracts, then jump from T-Mobile, AT&T, Straight Talk, Net10, overseas carriers, etc. Much more choice on the gsm side of the fence.

  • I don’t want to buy phones from the carriers at all ever again. I want the carriers to be ISPs. I want them to be dumb pipes to the internet so I can buy a phone/mobile PC from Google or Amazon or Newegg or wherever and use it on whichever wireless ISP I want. I don’t want voice and I don’t want txt messages. Just give me everywhere access to the web.

    • Ziang Chen

      Clearwire… / Light Squared. Hope it makes it past bankruptcy concerns.

      • Been a Clearwire customer for about 6 months and LOVE their service despite being a little more expensive than TWC was.

      • Fattie McDoogles

        They will get bought before any of that happens.

    • itznfb

      Yep. Pretty much.

    • Sadly, this is a long way off (at least in the US). Personally, I want more then just data – VoIP is simply too unreliable over mobile data right now to rely on for business use. I wish more plans like the T-Mobile $30 plan existed here. It’s making a huge impact.

      • It will happen, it has to happen. I envy my kids as this will probably be the norm for them when they’re adults. I hope it will be anyway.

        • If T-Mobile has it their way it will be. I am jumping up from the $30/mo plan to their new $70/mo plan with unlimited everything when it’s released tomorrow (or rather I’ll switch when my month rolls over, but whatever). No more VoIP struggles for me, and still $40 less then I was paying Verizon!

          • Hesster

            Same here. I’m on the 100 minute 5 GB plan, and it’s not working out because I need excellent call quality for business calls and VOIP over the cellular line is just too unpredictable. I’ve tried GrooveIP, Vonage and Talkatone. Some calls are fantastic, others are so bad the person on the other end hangs up because they can’t hear me and it’s costing me money.

          • What plan is this?

            My contract with Verizon is up in March, and this has me curious. I’ve seen nothing like this online (maybe it’s not available in my area?).

          • Just released (or releasing, their website isn’t updated everywhere yet) today. Check it out:

            http://www.tmonews.com/2013/01/t-mobile-confirms-monthly4gunlimited-nationwide-4g-data-plan-going-live-tomorrow/

      • tmobile and att use voip as their voice line…… why do you think the gsm smartphones for the longest time could talk and surf on 3g, 2g, ect. while cdma carriers had to wait to have 2 radios to do voice and web browsing at the same time

    • Unfortunately Verizon is a money hungry machine! They don’t care what you want unless it means more money for them which is precisely why I will keep using every GB of data that I want until they force me off of the unlimited plan (currently about 30gb a month!!)!

      • roberthenderson

        I’m only gigs four about ten to twelve a month, but if vzw gets stupid and forces me off of unlimited it will be byebye to all four of our lines.

        • michael arazan

          Customers didn’t want to lose unlimited data and yet Verizon moved forward with tiers, since when does Verizon give a Sh$t about Customers

          • Fattie McDoogles

            That’s not true… MOST Verizon customers could honestly care less. The only reason they want unlimited data is because they have no idea how much data they actually use. And the majority of them use less than 2GBs of data. Verizon is really only wrong for their pricing of said data.

      • You are the reason that Verizon left unlimited data. You use an unreal amount of data every month just because your plan says unlimited and that backs up the tower and screws other customer’s service and speeds. You’re the reason that people like myself and roberthenderson down there who use the service for its actual purpose can’t have unlimited data because you abused the service. So from all the Big Red customers out there who actually needed their unlimited data and used it wisely, but lost it, I thank you.

        • lol wut? Unlimited means unlimited. If that’s what he’s paying for, then he can access and use unlimited data.

          Silliness.

        • Jimneezy

          That’s a load of bullsh*t! if you’re getting bad service cause someone is hogging up the network then get mad at Verizon for brainwashing you in believing its the almighty of all carriers. Don’t advertise “unlimited” if they cant handle the load

        • My ToS say i can use all the data I wish as long as I don’t maliciously try to hinder the network for other customers. Considering Verizon handles millions of customers on hundreds of thousands of cellular towers and access points which effectively carry TERABYTES of data every single day, I do NOT see how 30Gb or even 100gb of data is of importance to them, especially when current download speeds on 4G LTE are well over 30mb/s down and 7-10mb/s up! If you have a problem with your data speeds you can follow Jimneezy’s advice and take that up with Verizon because Verizon publicly advertised UNLIMITED data and it is by no means directly my fault if network speeds in my area fluctuate.

    • John Davids

      Preach it, brother!

    • Aaron

      Wish I could vote this up more.

    • PAPINYC

      I had that but, I had to give it up to get a 4G phone last December 2011 (DROID RAZR); it was the first Unlimited Data Plan for PDA Smartphone that Verizon launched back in 2005. It had a voice option of 0.25/minute and texting was optional. I could have kept it if I had gotten anyone of their 3G phones but, I outgrew 3G. I feel you; I know exactly where you’re coming from. If Verizon offered an Unlimited Data Plan for 4G smartphones I would grab it (but we know that’s not going to happen). Nevertheless, I am happy with my Unlimited/Unthrottled 4G Data Plan!!

  • Finire

    I’d like to see Verizon actually offer a money saving option

    • Verizon is not in the business of saving you money. They are in the business of taking as much of your money as you are willing to part with.

      • Finire

        In the UK, I hear the plans are actually called something odd… affordable!