Verizon Promotions Could Mean Later iPhone 5 Release: Reports

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Two Verizon promotions are hinting that the iPhone 5 may not become available until October.

In what appears to be a back-to-school promotion, Verizon Wireless plans to introduce an entry-level, $20-per-month data plan with 300 MB in the Mid-Atlantic region, according to several media outlets.

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney told FierceWireless that all new and existing customers in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are eligible for the promotion, which runs from Aug. 18 through Sept. 30. 

Following suit with other carriers, Verizon Wireless announced on July 7 that there would no longer be an unlimited data plan option for new smartphone users in the US, TechZone360 reported.

Verizon, with roughly one-third of all U.S. cellular customers, joined AT&T (one quarter market share) and T-Mobile USA (12 percent share) as having capped unlimited plans and moving to a “bucket of bits” pricing model for new users, reported TechZone360’s Peter Bernstein.

During a recent industry conference, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said he “expects customers to move into the carrier's $50 and $80 tiers as they use LTE devices with multimedia capabilities,” Fierce Wireless reported.

“Usage is on an escalating scale,” Shammo said. “The tiered pricing will become more important as times goes on than it is today.” However, he did not give a timeframe for when he expects that kind of transition to take place.

In addition to the data promotion, PhoneArena reports that Verizon is introducing a $100 trade-in incentive through Sept. 30 for Western region customers upgrading to a smartphone.

This could mean that the iPhone 5 won’t become available until October, Gizmodo reported, since Verizon’s upper echelon must have information that would indicate Apple is holding out on the release until the holiday shopping season. Giving away a deal like after the iPhone 5 becomes available would mean the company would lose out on millions of dollars. So it looks like those who have been patiently waiting for the next version of the iPhone will have to do so a little longer.

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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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