Verizon to introduce shared data plans June 28, reflects reality of multiple device users

According to a report from AllThingsD, Verizon Wireless will soon change the way it charges customers for cellular/data plans in a major way. Rather than charging customers for phones calls or messages sent, the report claimed Verizon would charge “almost exclusively based on how much data” is consumed. The new “Share Everything” plans will also be the first in the United States that allows users to share their data with up to 10 devices through a single account:

The plans, known as “Share Everything,” allow users an unlimited number of calls and texts and also allow data usage to be pooled among up to 10 devices on one account. With the move, Verizon becomes the first U.S. carrier to offer the ability for customers to share a bucket of data across multiple devices.

AllThingsD noted that AT&T also has plans for shared data options, but it did not provide more details. As for Verizon’s new plans, which will apparently kick-in June 28, the report explained the cost of the data plan and pricing metrics based on a per-device fee. In other words, you will have to pay roughly $40 per smartphone ($10 per tablet), and then opt for either a $50 1GB data plan or a $100 10GB plan. While the report claimed the new pricing should not impact the cost of plans for users who continue consuming the same amount of data, it is clear that those signing a new plan for a single smartphone are getting a bit less for their money:

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AT&T hints at family/data sharing plans on the horizon

AT&T’s variant of the family data plan is on the horizon.

The company’s CEO of Mobile Business Ralph de la Vega told CNET on the sidelines of the CTIA Wireless trade show that the upcoming shared plan would allow consumers to buy one package of data to split among multiple devices, which is a forward-thinking step that could encourage tablet sales.

“I’m very comfortable with the plan that will be offered to our customers,” revealed de la Vega.

Just a few months ago, the executive seemed to doubt family plans due to IT, billing, and device subsidization issues. He even remarked his goal to “get it right”— instead of unveiling the strategy prematurely.

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Verizon admits that the majority of the smartphones it sold last quarter were 3G iPhones

Despite reports that Verizon’s fourth quarter earnings were hurt mainly by high subsidies for iPhone, Verizon announced on Tuesday it sold 4.3 million iPhones– over 50 percent of the 7.7 million total smartphones sold during the quarter. This statistic follows reports earlier this month that Verizon sold approximately 4.2 million iPhones during the holiday quarter. Compare that figure to the 1.6 million 4G LTE smartphones sold during the same quarter, of which the carrier offers more than 18 (mostly Android) devices versus a few iPhone models. These numbers show consumers are still choosing 3G iOS devices over the latest generation of 4G LTE smartphones from other vendors.

According to Barclays Capital analyst James Ratcliffe, even with the high subsidy, Verizon will see a positive cash flow of approximately $1,600 per iPhone. His estimate is based on the nearly $2,000 spent over a two-year contract and a $400 subsidy for the same period. Ratcliffe explained to Bloomberg:

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Verizon finally launching live TV streaming app to iPad in 2012

Verizon Wireless made 26 of its live FiOS TV channels available for online streaming on the Xbox 360. In a new report, GigaOM had the chance to sit down and talk to a Verizon representative at CES 2012, who said a similar app would be available for the iPad sometime this year. Verizon originally announced the streaming app about a year ago and a half ago, but the company held back from releasing it. Verizon accredits the hesistance to making sure networks have the same reliability as IPTV services so streams do not crash.

Verizon also rolled out a similar app to Samsung’s connected Blu-Ray players and televisions today. The iPad app will presumably be available free to those who subscribe to Verizon’s FiOS TV service. We look forward to seeing the app land sometime later this year. Obviously, this will only be available for paying FiOS customers.

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Verizon Wireless sold 4.2M iPhones during the holiday quarter, doubling the previous

Verizon Wireless’ Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told attendees at a conference today that Verizon sold a total 4.2 million iPhones during the holiday quarter, according to Bloomberg. Interestingly, the numbers reported by Shammo show that Verizon more than doubled iPhone sales from the previous quarter, where they sold 2 million. This sales hike was likely helped by pent up demand for the iPhone 4S, a cheaper iPhone 4, and the influx of shoppers during the holidays.  Verizon’s previous iPhone sales were said by some to be a disappointment.

Apple’s fiscal Q1 earnings call is coming up on Jan. 24, where we will hear the total number of iPhones sold during the holiday quarter. We will also hear specific numbers from Sprint and AT&T in the coming weeks. Last quarter’s total amount of iPhones sold should blow out any previous quarters with some experts putting estimates as high as 35 million.