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Last Wednesday, Verizon announced the opening of their new Application Innovation Center în San Francisco. Its goal according to Verizon is to help developers “create, optimize and polish their ideas.”  Founding participants in the center include Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and Samsung.  During their launch, they highlighted a large touchscreen display that allows users to search applications and view video demonstrations.  Take a peek IntoMobile’s video of the experience.

 

Following my earlier post on AT&T’s plans to adjust their pre-paid pricing strategy, I did a little digging and they’re not the only ones.  Verizon is  launching a $50 Verizon-branded prepaid Unlimited plan dubbed ‘Verizon Unleashed’; and they have now published details of the plan on their company website.   However, there is no indication that the $50 Verizon Unleashed plan has actually launched (as the website pages cannot be navigated to directly from Verizon’s main homepage or prepaid page).  It is also still unknown as to what the distribution channels will look like or whether or not this will be a regional offering.

Plan Details:

  • Unlimited Talk
  • Unlimited Text,  Picture and Video messaging  (including messages to participating carriers in Mexico, Canada and PR)
  • Unlimited Mobile Web – does not provide full web browsing

Available Handsets:

The carrier will be offering three low-priced feature handsets (flip, bar QWERTY and QWERTY slider) with the $50 Verizon Unleashed plan ranging from $39 to $79 (see below).  The Accolade (flip) and Cosmos (QWERTY slider) are currently in VZW’s prepaid device lineup.  The Caper QWERTY handset is new to the prepaid lineup.
No smartphones are shown to be offered with this plan right now.

Today Verizon  launched their first LTE smartphone putting to rest how quickly they’d be releasing handsets on the new network.   The HTC Thunderbolt went on sale online and is currently on display in stores.  I made a drop by and took a few pictures of the display.

The device specs:  4.3-inch screen, priced at $250 on a two-year contract, Android 2.2 as the OS underlying the HTC Sense 2.0 UI,  8 megapixel camera with HD video recording, 768MB of RAM, and a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 chip

Verizon Store on 34th/7th NYC

Positioned right next to the Samsung Galaxy Tab – Interestingly, a sales person suggested to a customer that with the screen size on the Thunderbolt they wouldn’t even need a tablet…great job of up selling Verizon!

Both AT&T and Verizon are scheduled to have service plans for the iPad 2 but the way in which they’re pricing the coverage plans differs somewhat. Based on a recent article in the WSJ, I’ve broken it down below.

AT&T announced plans yesterday to offer a postpaid monthly billing plan for their iPad 2 coverage plans. Similar to Apple’s strategy in keeping costs flat, they’re offering the same $14.99 plan for 250 megabytes and $25 for 2 gigabytes. However, with their new postpaid option, instead of a contract customers can receive regular bills for data access. For additional data, postpaid customers will be charged an additional $10 for every gigabyte they go over while postpaid customers are required to buy 2 gigabytes at $25.

On the other hand, Verizon who is also getting the device is planning on putting customers under its current tablet options plan which include the iPad, Galaxy Tab, and Xoom. The entry-level $20 plan for 1 gigabyte of data, $35 for 3 gigabytes, $50 for 5 gigabytes, and $80 for 10 gigabytes. As far as overage charges go, 3 gigabyte subscribers are charged $10 for every additional gigabyte while entry-level subscribers must pay $20 for each gigabyte.

For those of you who don’t own tablets, just to give you a little context on usage, 1G gives you roughly an hour of streaming music and 35 minutes of streaming video.

Sure makes having a WI-FI hotspot enabled handset with an unlimited data plan pretty attractive right now.