AT&T offers unlimited iPhone data to would-be defectors

By on January 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM.

AT&T offers unlimited iPhone data to would-be defectors

The Associated Press reports that AT&T is quietly offering unlimited iPhone data plans to some iPhone customers despite having killed off its unlimited plan last year. AT&T discontinued its unlimited smartphone data plan this past June and switched to a capped structure, offering users 2GB of data each month for $25 or 250MB of data for $15. At that time, customers with $30 unlimited data plans we’re allowed to keep their plans or switch to one of the new, less expensive plans. According to the AP report, customers who opted to switch from the old unlimited plan to a new capped plan are now being given the option to switch back — presumably as part of a larger effort to dissuade would-be defectors. Verizon Wireless will release the iPhone 4 next month, and the carrier confirmed its plans offer unlimited data for a limited time at launch. More →

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Apple posts VZW iPhone 4 eligibility checker to website, reaffirms monthly service plans

By on January 26, 2011 at 10:38 AM.

Apple posts VZW iPhone 4 eligibility checker to website, reaffirms monthly service plans

Apple on Wednesday posted details on its website surrounding voice, data and messaging plans that will be offered with the upcoming Verizon Wireless iPhone 4. The company also posted a utility intended to check subscriber eligibility, though it did not appear to be functioning properly at the time of this writing. Apple’s website confirms earlier reports that Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 users will only have two data options at launch: unlimited data for $29.99 per month and unlimited data with 2GB of Personal Hotspot and tethering services for $49.99 per month. Other plan details line up with current Verizon Wireless smartphone plans, for the most part:

Voice

  • 450 minutes/month: $39.99
  • 900 minutes/month: $59.99
  • Unlimited minutes/month: $69.99

Messaging

  • Pay per use: $0.20 per SMS, $0.25 per MMS
  • 250 messages/month: $5
  • 500 messages/month: $10
  • Unlimited messaging: $20

Data

  • Unlimited data: $29.99
  • Unlimited data with 2GB  for Personal Hotspot and tethering: $49.99 ($20 per GB for overages)

The only difference between the iPhone voice and messaging plans compared to Verizon Wireless’ standard plans appears to be the $20 unlimited messaging option. With other smartphones, the $20 messaging option affords subscribers 5,000 messages per month, and the carrier charges $0.10 per message for overages.

UPDATE: The pages have been pulled from Apple’s website as of approximately 10:50AM. More →

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Verizon Wireless to charge $20 for Personal Hotspot feature on iPhone 4

By on January 26, 2011 at 8:00 AM.

Verizon Wireless to charge $20 for Personal Hotspot feature on iPhone 4

Following reports that detail Verizon Wireless’ intentions with iPhone 4 data plans, a company spokesperson has also confirmed Personal Hotspot pricing. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told the press that there would be a $30 unlimited data plan available for iPhone 4 purchasers at launch. He also stated that the unlimited plan would only be available for a limited time, and that Verizon would then move to a tiered data plan structure similar to that of AT&T. But what about the much anticipated Personal Hotspot feature that will be ushered in by Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4? Like AT&T’s iPhone tethering plan, Verizon Wireless will charge $20 per month for the feature. Also like AT&T, Verizon will not afford tethering users unlimited data. Instead, the iPhone’s mobile hotspot feature will come with a separate 2GB bucket. While the limitation is a bit aggravating, it is seen as far more favorable than AT&T’s tethering solution, which pulls data from the same 2GB bucket as the standard iPhone data plan. Moreover, AT&T requires that subscribers with grandfathered unlimited data plans switch to the 2GB capped plan before tethering can be activated on an iPhone. More →

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Verizon CEO confirms $30 unlimited data plan for iPhone 4 [updated]

By on January 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM.

Verizon CEO confirms $30 unlimited data plan for iPhone 4 [updated]

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam on Tuesday confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that Verizon Wireless will offer a $30 unlimited data plan for the iPhone 4. McAdam said that offering the iPhone with a capped data plan would create an unnecessary barrier for customers looking to switch from AT&T. “I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot,” he told the Journal. The move also gives Verizon Wireless an advantage among customers looking to make their first iPhone purchase. While existing iPhone users on AT&T’s network may be grandfathered into the carrier’s old unlimited data plan, new subscribers are forced to choose between two capped plans, the larger of which only provides 2GB of data for $25 per month. Set to launch on February 10th, Verizon Wireless bills the iPhone 4 as the device that millions of its subscribers have been waiting for.

UPDATE: McAdam later stated that the iPhone’s unlimited data plan will be a limited time offer, after which Verizon Wireless will move to capped data plans similar to the plans offered by AT&T. More →

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Apple’s ‘Two is better than one’ iPhone ad doesn’t play favorites [video]

By on January 24, 2011 at 9:21 PM.

Apple’s ‘Two is better than one’ iPhone ad doesn’t play favorites [video]

Considering the huge amount of money carriers pull in for Apple these days, the Cupertino-based giant has to be careful now that AT&T isn’t the only iPhone game in town here in the U.S. The company definitely wants to help draw attention to the fact that the iPhone 4 will soon be available from the nation’s largest wireless carrier, but it also doesn’t want to burn any bridges with AT&T, the carrier that helped it sell a record number of smartphones last quarter. The solution for the time being, it seems, is to keep things simple. Apple’s new iPhone ad dubbed “Two is better than one” shows two iPhone 4 units — one from AT&T and one from Verizon Wireless — both doing the exact same things for 30 seconds. Why play favorites when both companies stand to sell truckloads of Apple smartphones? Luckily for Verizon Wireless, the ad doesn’t show this pair of iPhones trying to browse the Web while on a phone call. And luckily for AT&T, the ad doesn’t show this pair of iPhones, well, trying to even make a phone call. Hit the jump for the full commercial. More →

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White iPhone 4 appears in AT&T’s online system

By on January 24, 2011 at 9:44 AM.

White iPhone 4 appears in AT&T’s online system

It looks like Best Buy isn’t the only retailer with white iPhones popping up in its system. AT&T is now showing two versions of Apple’s unicorn-colored iPhone. The entries appear in AT&T’s Online Account Management system (OLAM), and read as “iPhone 4 – 16GB White” and “iPhone 4 – 32GB White.” While the carrier’s online account tool obviously wouldn’t include any indication as far as when we might expect white iPhone 4 models to hit the store shelves, it’s looking like late February or early March at this point. You know — just enough time to lock subscribers into new two-year contracts and then have them freak out a few months later when the next-generation iPhone is announced.

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Verizon’s first iPhone ad: ‘It Begins’

By on January 20, 2011 at 9:10 PM.

Verizon’s first iPhone ad: ‘It Begins’

Been waiting almost four years for the iPhone to come to Verizon Wireless’ network? Verizon knows that, and they’re wasting no time producing and airing the first Verizon iPhone commercial that plays up the general hysteria of the Big Red and Apple partnership. Our question to you would be, dear readers, iPhone 4 or HTC ThunderBolt? More →

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Apple Store vacation blackouts issued in preparation for Verizon iPhone 4 launch

By on January 20, 2011 at 3:58 PM.

Apple Store vacation blackouts issued in preparation for Verizon iPhone 4 launch

We have just been informed that Apple has started sending out mandatory vacation blackout notices to Apple Stores, barring employees from taking vacation. We’re told that managers have blackout dates of February 5th through the 18th, and employees can’t go on vacation or have days off during that timeframe either due to the launch of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4. In addition, there will be extended hours during that time period to accomodate the anticipated increase in foot traffic. It sure looks like Apple and Verizon are preparing to move a million units first week…

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Best Buy not carrying Verizon iPhone, but has exclusive on HTC ThunderBolt?

By on January 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM.

Best Buy not carrying Verizon iPhone, but has exclusive on HTC ThunderBolt?

We just received a tip that confirms Best Buy will not be carrying the Verizon iPhone at launch, but it seems as if the retailer will be receiving something for its troubles. According to our source, Best Buy will have the “exclusive retail sale” rights for the HTC ThunderBolt. We’ll see if this pans out, and as exciting as the HTC ThunderBolt is, there’s no substitute for Verizon iPhone mania.

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Best Buy prepares to battle Verizon’s iPhone 4; BGR gets caught in the crossfire

By on January 19, 2011 at 1:30 PM.

Best Buy prepares to battle Verizon’s iPhone 4; BGR gets caught in the crossfire

If images that reportedly reveal an internal Best Buy training document end up being real, it looks like the giant nationwide retailer will not be carrying Verizon Wireless’ new iPhone 4 at launch. The images supposedly show a section of Best Buy’s playbook intended to help guide sales reps’ interactions with shoppers. In this particular section, employees are given some fodder for customers inquiring about Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4. The first leaked page covers data speeds and the Verizon iPhone’s potential lack thereof:

Verizon’s entire presence at CES last week was focused on one thing and one thing alone: 4G. Its LTE network is now live in 38 markets and a flurry of 4G phones will launch in the coming months. But the iPhone… the smartphone millions of Verizon Wireless subscribers have been dying for… is a 3G device.

We knew Verizon’s iPhone 4 would be a CDMA phone for a number of reasons, but 3G is so 2010. Sprint launched its first 4G phone with minimal WiMAX coverage and it ended up being the fastest-selling phone in the carrier’s history. Now, we won’t see a 4G iPhone from Verizon until 2012. That means while millions of Android phones are surfing Verizon’s 4G airwaves later this year, iPhones will still be puttering along at EVDO speeds.

Sound familiar? That might be because Best Buy pulled this passage directly from our piece entitled Here’s where the Verizon iPhone falls short. It’s not the first time we’ve seen Best Buy use excerpts from BGR content though, so it actually lends a bit of credibility to the images. The next shot shows a passage that delves into Verizon Wireless’ recent policy changes, and we’re sure the document goes on to cover a few more key points. Hit the break for the pair of purported pics, and if you plan on visiting a Best Buy store to inquire about Verizon’s iPhone 4 in the coming weeks, get ready for a fight. More →

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RBC ups its target for Apple stock to $425 following huge quarter

By on January 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM.

RBC ups its target for Apple stock to $425 following huge quarter

Just one week ago, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky sent a price target revision to investors upping the firm’s target for Apple stock from $365 to $395. Following Apple’s monster quarter, RBC issued a new revision — this time raising its target to $425. Apple’s conservative second-quarter guidance of $22 billion still beat the Street’s $21 billion, and Abramsky points out that Mac shipments grew faster than Windows PC shipments for the 19th consecutive quarter. The firm now expects Apple’s 2011 fiscal year revenue to come in at $99 billion, up from its earlier estimate of $90.8 billion, and FY12 revenue estimates have been upped from $103.3 billion to $108 billion. Abramsky also notes that while Jobs’ medical leave may have a near-term impact on Apple’s stock, the company’s huge momentum remains intact.

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CDMA iPhone shipments could reach 15 million in 2011

By on January 18, 2011 at 9:01 PM.

CDMA iPhone shipments could reach 15 million in 2011

Verizon Wireless hasn’t even launched its iPhone 4 yet and rumored production numbers are already getting a rumored bump thanks to rumored strong demand. According to a new report from industry watcher DigiTimes, iPhone manufacturer Pegatron is ramping up CDMA iPhone production following a revised order from Apple. Apple is thought to have initially requested approximately 10 million CDMA iPhones from the company, but new deals in various regions may have caused Apple to increase its order. Now, according to channel checks, Pegatron will ship between 12 and 15 million CDMA iPhone units this year. Verizon Wireless is the only carrier known to be getting the CDMA version of Apple’s iPhone 4 at this point, and Foxconn is said to be building devices for the U.S. market — which would mean Pegatron’s upped production is the result of increased international demand. Total CDMA iPhone production between Foxconn and Pegatron is now thought to be between 27 and 30 million units. More →

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Recent Verizon phone buyers get $200 toward iPhone 4 upgrade

By on January 18, 2011 at 10:34 AM.

Recent Verizon phone buyers get $200 toward iPhone 4 upgrade

Not everyone follows tech news as closely as BGR readers, so it’s quite possible that some poor souls purchased a cell phone from Verizon Wireless this past holiday season without realizing the iPhone 4 would be an option in early February. Of course, many users have no interest in the iPhone but those who do might have felt a bit slided when Verizon announced Apple’s smartphone earlier this month. The silver lining on this cloud — well, it’s more of a gray lining, really — is that Verizon will help dial down the hit for those willing to return their recently bought phones and pay full retail for a new iPhone. Here’s the deal, as detailed on Verizon Wireless’ iPhone FAQ page:

I just purchased a new smartphone during the holiday season, but if I knew that iPhone 4 was going to be available soon I would have waited. What are my options now?

Current Verizon customers who purchased and activated new smartphones, feature phones or certified pre-owned phones between 11/26/2010, and 01/10/2011, are eligible to receive up to a $200 Visa debit card when they purchase an iPhone 4 at full retail price by 02/28/2011 and return their existing phone. Note: This offer is only available on consumer accounts with five lines or less, who are purchasing iPhone 4 through Verizon Wireless retail stores, telesales, or through verizonwireless.com.

Full retail for Verizon’s iPhone 4 is $649.99 for the 16GB version and $749.99 for the 32GB model. This means those who purchased phones during the holidays are still looking at a $250 gotta-have-it fee on top of the $200 or $300 they would have spent for a new iPhone on a contract. If you’re having a serious case of buyer’s remorse, however, this could be a good option. Just be smart about it — if you bought a new high-end smartphone over the holidays and you can manage to pull in more than $200 plus your purchase price by selling it on eBay, you should pass on Verizon’s offer and take that route.

Thanks, Josh More →

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