Verizon ditches contracts, opts for T-Mobile’s “uncarrier” style
After the industry woke up to a rude awakening on hearing that T-Mobile has passed Sprint to become the third most popular carrier in the US last week, the guys who currently sit at the top of the ladder, Verizon, has tightened up their belts in order not to be handed another shocker in a few months time.
Verizon says it’s shunning 2-year contracts, 1-year agreements or whatever it is that confuses people when buying a new smartphone. To put it short, when buying a smartphone from Verizon next time, you’ll be asked to pay outright for the product, and then pay for a call package and data plan — if you want.
While SMSs are free and calls are charged according to how frequent you called (if you are not on a bundle), Verizon will charge you $30 per month for 1GB of data, $45 for 3GB, $60 for 6GB, and for the 12GB plan, $80 per month. To share your plan with another smartphone is $20 per month, adding a tablet or hotspot is $10 per month, while sharing your data with a smartwatch is $5 per month.
Unlike in most parts of the world where you’d buy a phone from anywhere, put a SIM card and make calls with airtime credit, the US is more familiar with buying devices from carriers, paying for a contract-fee (usually $100 to $200) and then continue paying for the handset (as well as the calls you make) over an agreed period of time. This method appear to be confusing to subscribers as more and more people tend to follow T-Mobile’s simple and apparently less shady route. The evidence is T-Mobile’s growing subscriber base that has nearly doubled over a period of one year.