Free AppleCare with each new iMac 5K or Mac Pro purchase: Apple Price Guides updated Nov 19th (exclusive coupons)
Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 09:25 am PT (12:25 pm ET)

Verizon exec says unlimited iPhone data plans available for a limited time

After it was revealed that the company's $30-per-month unlimited data plan will be the only option for iPhone 4 users on Verizon, the carrier's chief operating officer said that the company still intends to phase out its unlimited plan and moved to a tiered pricing structure in the future.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam said the unlimited data plan for the iPhone 4 will be temporary. He revealed that his company intends to follow in rival AT&T's footsteps and adopt a tiered pricing structure.

Though McAdam did not indicate when Verizon might adopt tiered data plans, the report indicated that the change will occur in "the not too distant future."

It was last June that AT&T stopped offering its unlimited 3G data plan to new customers. Now, AT&T offers 2GB of data for $25 per month, or 200MB for $15 per month.

For now, Verizon customers who buy the iPhone 4, set to debut on Feb. 10, will only have the option of the carrier's $30-per-month unlimited plan. Unlike AT&T, Verizon will not offer a less expensive plan. But unlike Verizon, AT&T does not have an unlimited option for new customers.

Verizon customers who want to get an unlimited plan should act quickly when the iPhone 4 arrives to secure the $30-per-month limited-time offer for at least the two-year-term of a new contract.

McAdam indicated that not offering an unlimited plan for the launch of the iPhone 4 would create a barrier for customers who might otherwise switch from AT&T. "I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot," he said.

The COO also said that he feels anticipation for the arrival of the iPhone on his network held back smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2010. Prior to the announcement earlier this month, rumors persisted throughout the second half of 2010 that Verizon would get the iPhone in early 2011.