Verizon has put another nail in the coffin of the standard two-year contract. The largest U.S. carrier recently announced that it will no longer offer phone subsidies for new customers starting next Thursday, Aug. 13.
That means any new customer of the carrier will have to pay full retail price for their handset or use Verizon’s device payment plan that spreads the cost of the phone over 24 monthly, interest-free payments.
Starting next week, the carrier is also introducing simplified data plans for consumers. Monthly smartphone access will cost $20 per line while tablets and Jetpack lines are $10 per month. Connected devices, like smartwatches, are $5 monthly. Data will be offered in four different tiers that can be shared with up to 10 devices:
Small: $30/month for 1GB of shareable data
Medium: $45/month for 3GB of shareable data
Large: $60/month for 6GB of shareable data
X-Large: $80/month for 12GB of shareable data
Even current subscribers will be able to switch to the new plans, with some restrictions.
Regular two-year contracts have been quickly disappearing from U.S. carriers. T-Mobile has completely banished subsidies while AT&T only offers contracts at its company-owned retail stores.
And the changes are being rolled out shortly before Apple is widely expected to introduce its next-generation iPhone models in September.
As a Verizon customer, I’m pleased to see the simplified data plan options. It might finally be enough for me to jump from my own two-year contract.