Get Ready iPhone Users: Verizon Switching to Usage-Based Pricing

Be warned, iPhone lovers.

A Verizon Communications executive has revealed Verizon Wireless will replace its unlimited wireless data plans with usage-based pricing around the middle of the summer, Reuters reported.

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo made the announcement during a webcast of an investor conference.

Coinciding with the iPhone’s debut on Verizon Wireless’ network, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam announced last month that his company would offer a $30 unlimited data plan when individuals purchased the popular device from the mobile operator. The unlimited plan reflected a strategy to reduce barriers that could keep AT&T customers from making the switch.  

But a usage-based pricing model could alleviate congestion on Verizon Wireless’ network and match data plans to the specific needs of its subscribers as the mobile operator strives to woo millions of iPhone users this year.

Last year AT&T nixed unlimited plans for new customers, but McAdam pointed out that many AT&T customers were grandfathered in with their unlimited plans.

Verizons pending switch to a usage-based pricing model could coincide with the release of a new iPhone.

In the interview, Shammo indicated an updated version of the iPhone from Verizon Wireless will come soon. He did not reveal exactly when, but Reuters quoted Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin as interpreting the executives remarks as a signal that Verizon Wireless will release a new device in the third quarter. Apple typically releases an updated version of the handset in June or July every year, but it remains to be seen if the new Verizon iPhone will impact that schedule.

The news is not entirely rosy for Verizon Wireless. Shammo further mentioned a new gadget would hurt quarterly margins when it comes out, driving Verizons shares down on the New York Stock Exchange.

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