Verizon has just announced the new iPad data packages, boasting the fact that they include hotspot services at no additional cost. Big Red offers the same feature for tablets with other operating systems. The hotspot may be a great incentive to buy a tablet, but seems rather unfair for smartphone owners.
Verizon’s tablet data plans are the following:
- 1 GB for $20 (iPad only)
- 2 GB for $30
- 5 GB for $50
- 10 GB for $80
Never mind the fact that iPads get an extra package to choose from, smartphone owners are paying identical prices for their data, while Verizon requests that they pay an extra $20 fee for tethering (mobile hotspot). Granted, mobile hotspot users get an extra 2 GB of data, though the extra data doesn’t quite make this a fair deal. The fact remains that smartphone users have to pay more for what is essentially the same service.
If given mobile hotspot at no cost, smartphone subscribers would be using the same bandwidth as those tablets. Meaning maintenance costs would probably amount to the same.
On the bright side, tablet users will be much happier about this change, and could be the reason why Verizon has set data plans in this manner. Asking a customer to sign a 2-year contract for a tablet is not easy, as such devices are also much more expensive and usually considered luxury items. Customers are less likely to purchase a tablet at full price.
But people don’t mind signing up for a smartphone, with some considering it to be a necessity. It could be argued that customers would not want to buy a data-connected tablet if they offered free tethering for smartphones. Users would just get a WiFi device, instead, or simply go without.
Regardless, such tactics are unjust currently, though those shared family data plans might make everything much better. Users will be able to share data among a plethora of devices without spending much more.
For now, though, we would really appreciate some equality among different platforms and devices. If there is no need to charge tablet users for hotspot services, there should be no reason for smartphone users to pay up. Give it some thought and let us know what you think. Do you believe it is ok for Verizon treat tablets and smartphones differently?