Owning a smartphone on Verizon Wireless (VZ) has never been cheap, but it’s about to get a whole lot more expensive for many iPhone owners. The nation’s No.1 wireless carrier earned made a lot of people happy when it confirmed that FaceTime over cellular connections will be free with all existing smartphone data plans, meaning that users with grandfathered unlimited data plans won’t have to switch to a new shared data plan in order to use FaceTime over cellular. If they hope to use FaceTime while on the go with a new iPhone 5, however, they’re looking at spending $649 or more for their new smartphones.

A Verizon Wireless spokesperson reportedly confirmed to 9to5Mac that in order for subscribers with grandfathered unlimited data plans to keep their plans with the new iPhone 5, they will have to pay full price for the iPhone 5 once it becomes available next week. The carrier’s statement is as follows:

If you are an existing customer and want to keep your Nationwide Usage Based plan, you can keep your plan, purchase the iPhone at the discounted price with a 2 yr customer agreement. If you have a Verizon Wireless unlimited data plan, you can pay full price for your iPhone 5 and keep your unlimited data plan.

Only customers who are new to Verizon Wireless will select from Share Everything Plans.

AT&T (T), Verizon’s chief rival, confirmed on Wednesday that its subscribers with unlimited data plans will be able to keep their plans and still pay subsidized prices for Apple’s (AAPL) new iPhone.


Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.