Aug 11, 2015 02:20 AM EDT
Fans of the iPhone who were used to paying $199 for the smartphones are in for a surprise: The iPhone doesn’t cost just $199. Its actual price is at $649 or higher. While T-Mobile subscribers may have gotten used to paying for the phones at full price, Verizon users may soon join them.
Verizon is changing the way its subscription system works, and will no longer subsidize the cost of the iPhone.
In the past, it was possible to bring down the iPhone’s price to the $199 range, as Verizon, and the rest of the telecommunications carriers, had a price scheme that incorporated the phone’s cost. Starting last August 7th, Verizon has announced that they have ended the phone subsidy scheme. Instead, they might allow installment plans or ask the customer to pay for the phones up-front, at full cost.
Speculations about how Verizon will handle billing their subscribers for phones are still up in the air, and there is no word yet on how the company aims to pull that off, but most tech pundits are saying that Verizon may adopt T-Mobile’s system.
As of the moment, T-Mobile offers plans that involve installments for the phone itself, as well as being able to pay for the phone up-front.
The problem with the old billing system that Verizon has was that it continued to bill the subscriber at the same rates, even though the iPhone has long been paid off. What results is that the customer pays way more than what the phone is worth.
Pundits agree that this move by Verizon is one of the best things they’ve done for the customers. There will be more transparency in billing, and overpaying for one’s iPhone or flagship Android will certainly be minimized.
For the iPhone aficionado, seeing that the phone’s price tag is at $649 and higher may come as a shock, but in the long run, they’ll pay for the phone, fair and square, under this new scheme.
Verizon Wireless is named as the US’ largest mobile carrier, with 133.5 million subscribers as of April 2015.
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