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As we all wait patiently for Tuesday’s announcement from Verizon, additional details have surfaced over the weekend which indicate the carrier could offer unlimited data plans on the iPhone -- all while pulling up to 6.5 million customers away from rival AT&T.
MacRumors is reporting that Verizon will announce the iPhone tomorrow with their existing service plans, including unlimited data which will make AT&T’s capped packages look fairly weak by comparison.
“Verizon Wireless will offer unlimited data plans when it starts selling the iPhone, a person familiar with the matter said, providing a key means of distinguishing its service from rival AT&T Inc.,” reported The Wall Street Journal over the weekend after breaking the news Friday about the device coming to Verizon.
If true, AT&T may soon feel pressure to return to the original unlimited data plans offered for the iPhone. The telco currently offers both 200MB and 2GB capped plans, both of which feature steep additional charges for overages. Owners of iPhone models prior to the iPhone 4 were given the option to keep their original $30 per month unlimited data plan, but are unable to take advantage of the optional tethering package offered by AT&T.
Meanwhile, AppleInsider is reporting that the analysts are hard at work running the numbers in an effort to see how substantial the damage to AT&T could be. A note to investors on Monday morning from analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray claims that a Verizon iPhone launch will increase Apple sales by 2.5 million, but cautions that the number “may be conservative.”
Munster claims that AT&T alone might have sold 17.5 million iPhones in the 2011 calendar year, but that number is likely to drop to 11 million, with another nine million coming from Verizon -- which means that Apple has the most to gain from expanding to a second U.S. carrier.
Finally, MacRumors claims that sales of the Verizon iPhone are expected to begin “a few weeks” after the Tuesday announcement, according to a report from Reuters. That estimate is in line with rumors of a February 3 launch, although it could occur in late January as well, perhaps falling on or near this year’s Macworld Expo which runs January 27 through 29.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter