North America has always had a fairly unique pricing structure for buying mobile devices. In many places, the concept of purchasing a device for a heavy subsidy and committing to stay with a given carrier for two or three years is unheard of, but in the United States and Canada it has always been the norm. However, that dynamic has been changing as it has become more difficult for operators to subsidize expensive smartphones for the wide market of consumers. Both T-Mobile and AT&T have moved away from the original model of contracts and subsidies in favor of installment plans or simply selling devices at full price, and today Verizon announced that they will follow in their footsteps.

With Verizon's new plans, there are no more contracts and no more device subsidies. Instead, consumers pay for their phones, pay for a bucket of data, and then pay a fee for each device that they add onto the account. The base monthly data fees are 1GB for $30, 3GB for $45, 6GB for $60, and 12GB for $80. On top of the data bucket fee, users will pay $20 to add a smartphone to the account, $10 for a tablet/data stick, and $5 for a smartwatch with cellular capabilities. Additional data over the limit will cost $15 per gigabyte,

As for existing consumers, Verizon will apparently offer avenues for them to get another subsidized device when they transition to these new plans, and they can also hold onto their older plans if they desire. Verizon customers interested in the new plans can switch over when they go live on August 13.

Source: Re/code

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  • ImSpartacus - Friday, August 7, 2015 - link

    Holy shit.

    Didn't see this coming.
  • PeterCollier - Saturday, August 8, 2015 - link

    And this is why MNVOs are the way to go.

    I've been on Cricket for the last 6 months. Cricket is an AT&T MNVO. I've paid exactly 0 dollars in phone bills for the last 6 months.

    The only money I spent was 50 dollars on phones after rebates (which I actually received). 50 dollars bought me 2 Moto Gs (LTE edition) and 3 HTC Desire 510s.

    Plan includes unlimited call and text and 2.5 GB of data each month with no overage fees, just reduced speeds.

    Cricket (AT&T) coverage is pretty good. I got to test it firsthand for about 3 weeks recently because I had to stay in a rural area. Inside buildings in this rural area, I had maybe EDGE speeds. A friend had a Verizon iPhone, and it got pretty strong and consistent 3G coverage even inside the buildings. Another person with T-Mo was SOL in this area. Sprint - I know one person with a Sprint dumbphone that could at least make calls in the area - but I wasn't sure about data coverage since they had a dumbphone and didn't really use the internet. Basically, the deal was if I stepped outside the buildings, I could expect 4G or even LTE coverage and acceptable speeds.

    Of course, all good things come to an end, so I will be paying $100 a month (tax included) starting this month for my 5 phones on Cricket. My sign-up credits finally ran out. he other good thing about Cricket is that the price includes tax, regulatory fees, etc. So my bill is not $100 + tax + regulatory fees - it's just a flat $100/month.

    I remember with T-Mo. with only 3 phones and 1 GB of 4G (not LTE) data per month my bill was easily in excess of $140 a month. I also had to pay for my phones on T-Mo.
  • imaheadcase - Saturday, August 8, 2015 - link

    I don't like that deal, reduced speeds. I think most would prefer just a flat extra per gig going over the cap. I would go over 2.5Gb each month easily.
  • PeterCollier - Saturday, August 8, 2015 - link

    I agree that the 8mbps cap might be limiting for some but Google tells me that the average LTE speed on AT&T is between 6 to 8 mbps.

    Also the way that the pricing structure works is that the cost of a 2.5gb plan for one phone is 40 bucks, an additional phone is 30, a third phone is 20, a fourth phone is 10, and a fifth phone is 0. I chose a free after rebate phone as the fifth phone. I only have four people in my household so I just use the fifth phone's SIM card whenever I run out of data on my primary phone. A simple SIM card swap effectively gives me 5gb of data a month for no additional charge.
  • Impulses - Saturday, August 8, 2015 - link

    Clever use, tho swishing SIMs can be a hassle if you use a case etc.
  • hrrmph - Sunday, August 9, 2015 - link

    Most good phones are available in dual-SIM models...

    ... except in North America.
  • Murloc - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    not most, and not flagships.
  • DanNeely - Sunday, August 9, 2015 - link

    Doesn't the sim card swap give your phone a different # which'd cause it not to recieve any sms or voice calls sent to your normal one?
  • Midwayman - Thursday, August 13, 2015 - link

    This is what something like google voice is for. They ring your GV and it'll ring all the numbers you have. Totally transparent to the outside user.
  • Sushisamurai - Saturday, August 8, 2015 - link

    ... You're kidding right? I do about 25 GBs per month on my phone on T-mobile, $80 flat rate, and I don't notice reduced speeds.

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