I saw the commercial for the first time. Looks like a nice phone. Hmmm may have to leave Motorola!
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The Bionic is the phone I want, but as much as I travel I need LTE. My decision is going to be based on what they do with new rate plans, as I'm looking to pay retail since my upgrade isn't for another 6 months or so.
If I can get grandfathered to any coming plan changes, I might look at tacking on 2 yrs to my contract, then possibly sell/trade my TBolt for half price and use that toward retail on the phone I really want (which may or may not be the Bionic, it ain't perfect either).
So IMO a productive discussion is difficult without the context of LTE plans.
If getting grandfathered in is a key factor for you and you will be paying retail I have a feeling you will want the TB, if for nothing else than getting locked in early on the data pricing.
But VZW is also talking about speed tiers. One way around the whole grandfathered business would be they could continue to offer unlimited data to existing users but at the lowest tier (maybe 2mbps). Still if that speed was consistent it would be 3x what I average on 3G and might work for me.
On the other hand, if I could get unlimited data at 10mbps on the highest LTE tier, I could drop home broadband (thanks to hdmi out) and I might pay up to $80 a month (which is what I pay right now for broadband + smartphone).
IMO, if you want 4g, that's a bad bet.
It's not an uncommon practice with other carriers to require a 'SPECIFIC' type of plan with 'SPECIFIC' phones. This is how Sprint migrated a lot of people on the old $15/mo Unlimited data plans to the Everything Data plans.
All VZW has to do is say, if you want the TB with 4g -- you need the 4g Data Plan (which hasn't been released yet) -- and suddenly, any plans you have to 'grandfather' in at the current price are quickly made irrelevant.
We also don't know if the TB will still require a 4g plan even in markets without 3g. So again, you are taking a leap of faith in 'locking' into anything.
Where I think the 'grandfather' thing has credibility is if you have an existing phone under an existing unlimited plan under contract for 2 years. I've reviewed all the T&Cs and I don't see anything that says they can change it on you.
So, presumably, if they changed your terms this summer to a Tiering, you wouldn't be impacted until you needed to upgrade your phone or plan. And if they do make the change on you, I read that as you having cause to cancel your contract.
Last edited by sidsixseven; 03-06-2011 at 12:23 PM.
I like what you said about grandfathering though; there is no guarantee that this will happen. I've brought it up before, but just look back on the HTML dumbphones starting with the Voyager back in 2007. You had to get a data plan just to activate the phone, even if you paid full retail. Before that, they charged minutes of use. As more and more phones came out with this this requirement, everyone was transferred to this plan. This was basically Verizon's way of forcing customers onto new plans without a grandfathering option.
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I think they're going to drop a pricing matrix on us, where you might have 2gigs, 5gigs, 10gigs and unlimited "buckets" and then 3-4 speeds to choose from.
Kind of funny because at one point they talked about "simplifying" and/or unifying prices along with buckets of data (as opposed to separate plans for different devices).
And I don't see anything wrong, evil or even unfair about this. A lot of people seem anchored to unlimited data at 3G speeds, eventhough we know the average user only hits around 400megs a month. The reality is they could offer 2gigs at 2mbps for $30 and that would be a win for most users.
Sprint, for example, came right out and said that if you had an 'unlimited data' plan for one of their non-smartphones (called feature phones), you couldn't use that data plan on a smartphone. If you wanted to 'upgrade' and keep your existing plan, your choices of phones was limited to these 'feature' phones.
My expectation is that when the TB releases, that VZW will do something similar. Basically, if you want the phone -- you need the right data package.
But ultimately the fact is VZW has competition, so they can't really charge all that much more for the service. And for 90% or so of consumers who don't travel much at all, there is usually at least one other option providing good cell and data service.
It's going to be very interesting to see what VZW does. I feel like the growth opportunity here is not only growing overall market share by TAKING customers from other carriers, but also getting more existing customers to jump into data plans. To me trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of existing smartphone users, and actually losing customers (along with their more lucrative voice & text plans) is a sub-optimal strategy.
Of course that doesn't mean companies can and won't make bad business decisions. Just kind of floors me that they see the value in their current offerings as they said point blank they've kept prices here to lure IPhone customers from AT&T, but basically said "we planned to screw them (and all our other users) later all along". Seems short-sighted.