reported on photos a reader sent me showing a Walmart point of sale display promoting a hitherto unknown $50/month Verizon Wireless Unlimited Smartphone plan.
The displays indicated that the plan included 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 plan was described as a "Walmart Exclusive" and a "Limited Time Offer". There was a lot of speculation in my initial post and in the comments about what exactly those phrases meant.
The biggest question was whether the plan was available only with Verizon prepaid phones sold by Walmart or if phones from other sources including devices added to Verizon Prepaid using the carrier's "Bring Your Own Phone" (BYOP) program. We now have answers thanks to 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 need to use a 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.
In addition to Verizon Prepaid smartphones, you can also activate any non-LTE Verizon Smartphone, including BlackBerrys and the iPhone 4 and 4S on any of Verizon's prepaid Smartphone plans. In addition to the $50 plan there are $60 and $70 unlimited smartphone plans that include 2GB and 4GB of data respectively. BlackBerrys on the smartphone plan can access BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), which is required by BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), BlackBerry Email and some apps.
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