Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh, Verizon Stealing the Thunder from the G1... or Trying to

So much for the anticipation for the G1, which is due to be released tomorrow by T-Mobile. Today's big news, at least on my radar, is that Verizon is removing the long term contract requirement. Verizon now lets new subscribers sing up with just a month-to-month commitment. Even more surprising is that the operator will now accept any un-locked device.

There are obviously conditions for this to take effect. Customers must pay the actual cost of the device, which can amount to more than twice what customers are used to paying. Customers must also sign up for a Nationwide plan.

As expected, there is much speculation as to why Verizon would make this move. I do not buy the possibility that it was to prepare for 4G and the promise to attract AT&T subscribers then. It may be to deflect potential scrutiny from the FCC. One thing is for sure: given the high cost of devices and the fact that the only other CDMA network in the US is Sprint's month-to-month subscribers will have to think twice, and very hard, about bailing on Verizon.

Perhaps Android phones will be the reason. The iPhone on AT&T's slow and unreliable network is far from being it for me.

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