Verizon ditching unlimited data; Amazon tablet rumors heat up

by Phil Hornshaw

It was a good run, but Verizon is finally scrapping its unlimited mobile data plan offering in favor of tiered, usage-based plans.

Verizon stuck it out with unlimited data and used it from a marketing standpoint when the Verizon iPhone hit shelves, but it appears those days are at an end come July 7. According to a story from IT World and other outlets, Verizon is holding back on the details for its usage-based data plans, but spokespeople have confirmed that there’s about to be a change.

The L.A. Times reports Verizon wouldn’t give up much in the way of details, but Droid Life claims to have some prices for Verizon’s plans: 2GB for $30 per month, or as much as 10 GB for $80 each month. Users can also pay an additional $20 per month for tethering, which would add 2GB to their plan on top of what they already pay for – IT World gives an example of a plan that shakes out to be 4GB with tethering for $50 per month. Verizon will $10 per gigabyte for overages each month, as well.

Unlimited data from Verizon today goes for $30 a month, which makes the new tiered plan a significant change in price. But reports say that Verizon’s 4G LTE data plans are going to run the same rates as these 3G plans, which at least precludes paying more for better, faster data coverage.

Like AT&T before it, Verizon will likely grandfather its older customers who pay for unlimited data into that plan for at least a while, so if you’re looking to renew your Verizon contract and hold on to unlimited data, you might want to do so before July 7. However, Droid Life also has images supposedly from some Verizon literature claiming current customers will never be affected by tiered data costs. Sounds too good to be true? We’ll just have to wait and see.

More rumors about potential Amazon tablet

A report from Engadget runs down new rumors that suggest the Amazon tablet that may or may be coming may or may not include a TI processor.

Oh, and it might start shipping in August.

The information on the Amazon tab is a bit on the sketchy side – much of what I’ve heard about it seems to come from industry analysts suggesting that an Amazon tab would be a good idea, rather than actually providing claims to have seen it. But Asian publication DigiTimes out of Taiwan has been stoking the rumor mill quite a bit, and now claims that the Amazon tab will use a TI processor instead of an NVIDIA, and a Wintek touch panel.

Interesting, although still too early to tell. DigiTimes also reportedly throws in some numbers that Amazon hopes to hit – like selling 4 million by the end of 2011 with that August release. That seems like it could even be a possibility, if the rest of these rumors prove true: as Amazon is proving in the Android apps market, it’s pretty well-positioned to be a tab competitor.