**Editor’s Note: Originally published in February 2011, this story ranks No. 11 on B/OSS’ all time list, based on results from our weekly newsletters combined with online traffic.**
Verizon Wireless began taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4 for existing customers in the wee hours of Thursday morning, citing unprecedented demand for the device. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that it also quietly posted a new “network management policy” that says that the top 5 percent of data users on the device may have their 3G speeds reduced.
“We may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand,” the policy reads.
While consumer groups may not like the action, particularly since Verizon is touting its unlimited data packages for the iPhone, it’s unlikely most users will feel any effects from such proactive anti-congestion tactics. New data from Cisco Systems Inc. says top 10 percent of data users by volume account for a staggering 60 percent of all wireless data. Average monthly data per user was just 79MB.
Of course, users of the iPhone, with its sleek user interface and intuitive apps experience, might beat that national average by a good margin: It remains to be seen, particularly since it’s difficult to tell who will become an iPhone user. Verizon doesn’t have any numbers for the world to see yet, but it will be interesting to weigh upgrades within its own 95 million-strong customer base and its 21 million smartphone users, vs. wooing existing AT&T iPhone users.
So far the ordering process has been glitchless, the carrier reported, and the Apple Insider is getting multiple reports that pre-ordered iPhones have already shipped.
Availability of the device to the general public begins Feb. 9.