Verizon Clarifies Discontinuation of Grandfathered Unlimited Data: Applies to New Subsidized Devices

Verizon yesterday made headlines for comments from Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo revealing that the carrier is planning to discontinue its grandfathered unlimited data plans when the carrier rolls out new shared data plans this summer. Verizon dropped those unlimited data plans within months of introducing the iPhone early last year, but customers who had previously been on the unlimited plans have been allowed to keep them, even through handset upgrades.

verizon iphone cook
Tim Cook and Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead introduce the Verizon iPhone in January 2011

Verizon issued a clarification to The New York Times today, noting that the loss of grandfathered unlimited plans will be limited to those customers purchasing new subsidized devices for use on the carrier. Users who do not upgrade their devices or who choose to upgrade at unsubsidized prices will be able to keep their unlimited data plans. Still, the change would appear to be set to affect the majority of Verizon's current unlimited data customers, as most customers are interested in regular handset upgrades at subsidized prices.

- Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.

- When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.

- Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.

- The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.

Sprint remains the only major U.S. carrier to offer unlimited data for iPhone users, and the carrier has indicated that it will continue to do so for the next-generation device, even if it supports 4G LTE networks that could lead to consumers using more data capacity.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

reden Avatar
135 months ago
Nice clarification. "Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan." Making it sound like it's a gift from them to you.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imprezu Avatar
135 months ago
Prices of used 4g smartphones are going to skyrocket.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
doctorossi Avatar
135 months ago
So basically your a sucker if you go for their subsidized phones and signing up for a 2 year contract.

You're a sucker if you pay for an unsubsidized phone- you pay the same rate for your plan whether your phone was subsidized or not.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
doctorossi Avatar
135 months ago
I don't understand the contention that buying at the unsubsidized rate is a workable solution here. If you buy the phone unsubsidized, you still have to pay the same plan rates that pay the carrier back (and then some) for the subsidy, so... a ~$500 premium just to keep your unlimited plan? How does that constitute the best deal for even the top data users?

Is there something wrong with my math?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
realmike15 Avatar
135 months ago
As soon as AT&T does this... hello Sprint!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macboy Pro Avatar
135 months ago


I think the lesson here is that companies should never advertise anything as unlimited. These agreements almost always have some kind of "excessive usage" clause, and it's just not possible for every customer to take full advantage of it when the backend resources are finite.
That is exactly what The AT&T CEO said last week and folks ripped him for it. AT&T made a mistake in the initial unlimited offering. The did not anticipate the iPhone success and the bandwidth needed. A fully understandable and honest statement from the CEO.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 15 'Ultra' Could Replace Pro Max Model Next Year

Sunday September 25, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its "Pro Max" iPhone with an all-new "Ultra" iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its "Pro Max" branding, which it started to use...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...