Is Verizon's Unlimited iPhone Data Plan Worth It?

Earlier today, Verizon announced that — at least for now — they’ll be offering unlimited data plans to its iPhone users for $30/month. But the question is: Do you need it?

Luckily, our siblings-in-arms at Consumer Reports have already done some pondering this question.

Without specifics on what Verizon’s tiered data plans will cost, CR had to go on the assumption that the company will price those plans at the same or lower dollar amounts AT&T has been charging. Additionally, CR assumes that there is nothing about your average Verizon subscriber that would make him or her a bigger data hog than an AT&T subscriber.

Last summer, CR looked at the value of AT&T’s various data plans and found that only about 4% of all iPhone users consume an average of more than 1 GB of data a month.

So if Verizon were to offer a plan similar to AT&T’s 2GB for $25/month, that would seem to cover all but the fattest data hogs. And most casual users will be perfectly fine with a 200MB/$15 monthly plan.

“Of course, we don’t yet have details on the Verizon plans, which could have provisions that make the unlimited plan pay for more people,” adds CR. “For example, Verizon could bundle tethering or corporate e-mail capability, now $20 and $15 monthly extras with Verizon’s smartphone plans, in with the cost of the unlimited plan while charging extra for it with the limited iPhone plans. But at first blush, a Verizon iPhone plan with unlimited data looks like it would pay off only for the most apps-obsessed mobile downloaders.”

Verizon to offer unlimited data with its iPhone, but most won’t need it [Consumer Reports]