If you thought Verizon iPhone was going to be cheap on a high-end carrier that had always been commanding a premium, think again. Verizon Wireless, which recently landed iPhone 4 and plans to launch it February 10, will charge folks who want to use Personal Hotspot capability twenty bucks a month. You'll be able to transfer 2GB a month using wireless tethering before the carrier slaps you with overage charges. Wireless tethering is a hugely popular feature among the Android crowd, but it's only now coming to Apple's handset. Personal Hotspot, said to appear on all iPhones with iOS 4.3 update in March, lets Verizon iPhone people connect up to five wireless devices - like notebooks, other smartphones, tablets, etc - to the carrier's CDMA cellular network through the handset which acts as a base station.
The $20 a month tethering fee comes on top of monthly charges for a voice and data plan which will be required in order to activate the $199/$299 iPhone 4 on Verizon's network. There's nothing unusual about the $20 tethering fee because the carrier is charging its other wireless subscribers the same sum to use it.
Although Verizon has yet to formally unveil plans and pricing, Apple inadvertendely leaked those today. MacRumors first spotted voice, data and messaging plans that will most likely be offered to the Verizon iPhone customers because they briefly appeared on Apple's online store at press time only to dissapear half an hour ago later.
Screenshots included below depict individual voice plans at $40/$60/$70 a month for 450/900/Nationwide Unlimited minutes. Family SharePlans include $70/$90/$100/$120 a month options that include 700/1400/2000/unlimited minutes. Messaging plans on offer include $5/$10/$20 a month options offering 250/500/unlimited text messages.
According to the publication:
Customers can also decline to add a messaging and plan and simply be billed at a per-message rate of 20 cents text and 25 cents per picture/video message.
Family SharePlan messaging options include the same pay per use, $5, and $10 plans as on the individual track, but the $20 messaging plan includes 5000 messages for family talk customers with an additional $30 plan offering unlimited shared messages across devices on the plan.
All those pieces of information come on the heels of yesterday's conference call with analysts when Verizon's op-chief Lowell McAdam said the company would keep its $30 a month unlimited data plan for iPhone 4 for a limited time before switching to a usage-based tiered pricing, like AT&T did last year.
Verizon also killed its 150MB data plan that cost $15 a month. The nation's leading carrier which commanded 93 million strong subscriber base as of September, posted strong fourth-quarter earnings yesterday. The company grew service revenues by 7.7 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, while data revenues grew 25.5 percent. Verizon ended the holiday quarter with 94.1 million total customers, up over 93 million subscribers they reported in the previous quarter. The big red carrier is scheduled to begin signing up new iPhone 4 customers from Thursday, February 10 at its 2,200 nationwide stores and the Verizon online store. Apple will also offer Verizon iPhone through its retail and online stores, as well as their authorized resellers.