Verizon plans to take 300MB for $20/m data plan nationwide this holiday season

Late last week, Verizon introduced a new 300MB data plan for $20/month for the carrier’s mid-Atlantic region. This covers Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and North Carolina. This special data plan tier is available in a limited test run from August 18th until September 30th. The idea for the plan, according to Verizon regional president Mike Maiorana is to welcome users from non-smartphones:

This is a great introductory plan for customers who have been contemplating moving from a basic phone to a smartphone but were hesitant because of cost, said Mike Maiorana, regional president in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia. The $20 monthly access promotional plan is an opportunity for customers to learn the many benefits of having a smartphone with email and calendar functions, as well as Internet access and apps, at their fingertips

According to our sources, though, Verizon’s reasoning for the plan is not that simple. The company is actually going right after AT&T’s $15 data plan that provides users with 200MB of data usage per month. Verizon Wireless figures that an extra 100MB for only $5 is the more enticing deal. The plan also doubles as an easier route for parents to set young children up with a phone line on their Verizon plan. Because of this, Verizon Wireless currently plans to make this data plan a permanent and nationwide option by this holiday season. This could change at anytime, though, depending on response to the test-run.


VZ’s current plans

Cross posted on 9to5Google

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Jailbreak hotspot-ers: AT&T is moving you to a tiered data plan involuntarily

We’ve gotten word from some readers that AT&T is moving forward and removing unlimited plans for users who jailbreak iPhones to tether or hotspot off of AT&T’s unlimited data plans (for those grandfathered):

I was just informed that as of Thursday August 11th 2011, if you use MyWi or any tethering on the phone or using the phone as a modem, AT&T will automatically change ur unlimited plan to a 2Gb tethering plan for 45 dollars without the customers consent. This is for those who received emails or texts about the use of tethering without an AT&T tethering plan.

An AT&T spokesperson has confirmed this, but not August 11th as a hard cutoff date, saying:

Earlier this year, we began sending letters, emails, and text messages to a small number of smartphone customers who use their devices for tethering but aren’t on our required tethering plan.  Our goal here is fairness for all of our customers.  (This impacts a only small percentage of our smartphone customer base.)

The letters outline three choices:

1) Stop tethering and keep their current plan (including grandfathered unlimited plan)

2) Proactively call AT&T or visit our stores and move to the required tethering plan

3) Do nothing and we’ll go ahead and add the tethering plan on their behalf — after the dated noted in their customer notification

Is this fair of AT&T?  Well, it is certainly fair that people pay for the data that they are using and unlimited tethering turns your iPhone into a data sucking monster.  AT&T’s service to others is obviously affected, so they have to do something about it and this seems like a reasonable solution.  The obvious retort is that some may have purchased their unlimited plans back when unlimited really meant unlimited, jailbroken or not.

The matter doesn’t appear up for debate however. MiWi users: get your free data this week and hope AT&T doesn’t decide to move you over early. Read more

OS X Lion loses compatibility with some network-attached storage drives

CNet has discovered that OS X Lion users lose support for Time Machine backups with third-party NAS hard drives. Time Machine in OS X Lion is now only compatible with Netatalk 2.0. This means that third-party NAS (network attached storage) drives will need a software upgrade from their respective manufactures in order to work with Apple’s next-generation Mac operating system. Users of cable-connected external hard drives will not be affected. Drobo, the company behind popular network attached storage devices has noted the issues on their website:

DroboFS, B800fs and DroboPro FS users running Mac OS X Lion (OS X 10.7) will experience problems with Time Machine.

The next official firmware release for all “FS” products will ensure full compatibility with the released version of Mac OS X Lion,  including use of Time Machine.

Another popular NAS drive maker, Synology, has already released a fix in beta form. Other NAS drive makers will likely follow up with their own OS X Lion compatibility updates.

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Localytics: Verizon claiming almost a third of all US iPhone 4s

Analytics company Localytics today published a report on the rise of the Verizon iPhone.  In the July month, it accounted for 32% of all iPhone 4s purchased (AT&T is still selling iPhone3GS, and has the US exclusive on the $49 iPhone).  That’s with AT&T’s 8-month head start.

It’s not all gravy for Verizon.  Localytics surmises that the biggest selling point to US users was the ‘unlimited’ data plans…which end today.

Why the recent uptick in Verizon adoption? One reason may be Verizon’s unlimited data plan, which they are scheduled to do away with on July 7th. AT&T officially discontinued its unlimited data plan in mid-2010, although existing customers were allowed to keep their plan as long as they remained AT&T customers. We’ll continue tracking the shift in iPhone 4 market share to see if Verizon loses momentum post-unlimited-data.

It will be interesting to see the split on iPhone 5 when all carriers (including Sprint T-Mobile and others?) are equally pitted against each other. Read more