Thanks to a reader who shared these photos taken in a Sacramento, CA Walmart we now know of a couple of new Verizon Wireless Prepaid options.
As shown by the rectangular sticker in the first image and the point of sale displays pictured below, there's a new $50/month smartphone plan that includes unlimited talk and messaging and 1 GB of data. Previously, the least expensive Verizon prepaid smartphone plan was $60 for unlimited talk and messaging and 2 GB.
The new $50 plan is a Walmart exclusive.
It's not clear if this means it's only available with phones purchased at at Walmart or if Walmart will sell special $50 top up cards that enable this plan on any Verizon prepaid smartphone.
Update 8/27/2013: A reader discovered that Walmart.com is now selling $50 Smartphone Plan airtime refills. They are labeled as a "Limited Time Only" offer however.
It's not clear if these refills can be used to switch any Verizon prepaid account to the new plan or if they only work with phones sold by Walmart that are already activated on that plan.
Update 8/29/2013: Verizon has clarified that the Walmart $50 Plan refills can be used to switch any eligible Verizon smartphone to the $50 plan.
Here's a statement I received today from Verizon Corporate Communications:
The Exclusive Price Plan is available on all eligible VZW 3G Smartphones, such as the iPhone® (4/4S), BlackBerry® (3G) and Android TM (3G) devicesA Verizon spokesperson also confirmed to me that once a user is active on the $50 Smartphone Plan they do not have to use Walmart card to renew the plan. Renewals can be made using Verizon prepaid top-up cards or PINs from any source including local stores or online sellers like callingmart.com. $50 Smartphone users can also set up and use auto pay online at My Verizon, however they are not eligible for the $5/month auto-pay discount.
A subscriber who already has an eligible Smartphone does not need to purchase a new Smartphone from Wal-Mart
The Exclusive Price Plan is only available at Wal-Mart and the subscriber will need to purchase a $50 Card (or a multi-denominational card that is loaded with $50) from Wal-Mart
Subscribers will remain on the Exclusive Price Plan for as long they continue to replenish their accounts with at least $50 every month
“Limited Time Only” means that subscribers will be able to add this Exclusive Price Plan for a limited time, but if they add the plan during the availability period, subscribers can keep the plan for as long as they continue to replenish their accounts with at least $50 every month.
The second change is shown in the round sticker on the phone package which advertises a new feature available with all Verizon Wireless Prepaid monthly plans, unlimited free texts to Mexico. As far as I get tell from the pictures, free texting to Mexico is not a Walmart exclusive.
Prepaid Operator Profile: Verizon