Verizon: If You Want To Keep Your Unlimited Data, Pay Full Price For Your Next Smartphone

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo ruffled a few feathers yesterday when he mentioned at an investor conference that every one of their customers would be on one of the carrier’s new data share plans.

In an effort to clarify his meaning, Verizon sent a statement to a handful of news outlets today that shines a bit more light on how they plan to make this situation work.

First thing’s first — Verizon still intends to make those pesky (for them, anyway) unlimited data plans a thing of the past, they’ll just be doing it more gradually than originally anticipated.

That said, subscribers currently clinging to their unlimited data plans can actually keep them in certain cases. If you’re a customer who just upgraded from a 3G to a 4G device with that older data plan intact, congratulations — you’ll be able to hang on to it until the next time you waltz into a Verizon store to upgrade your smartphone.

Furthermore, customers who pay the full outright price for their handsets will be able to keep their unlimited plans as well, though that’s hardly anything new for them — by buying the device outright, you’re able to dodge another multi-year contract extension. As far as Verizon seems to be concerned, you’re fine unless you take them up on the offer of a discounted device (and the contract that goes with it):

“When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.”

That little “discounted pricing” proviso is an interesting one — does that mean customers would be able to hold onto those unlimited plans if they opted to pay full price for devices from now on? It certainly seems that way, though I can’t imagine too many people would be eager to take them up on that deal considering how damned expensive smartphones are without that nifty little subsidy to help out. Still, the option seems to be there for anyone who doesn’t mind spending gobs of money to prove a point.