Speaking of shared data, Verizon allows up to 10 devices on one plan. Alongside the impressive statistic that 30% of smartphone customers are new to Verizon, the CFO claimed that, within six months, these customers nearly double the number of devices they associate with one plan. That's cash in the bank for Verizon simply because of the associated monthly device charges and data use fees.
As a Verizon customer, I can vouch for this. I will bare my soul for this job so, here, take a look at my actual Verizon Wireless bill:
First, LTE rocks, at least here in Southern California. I consume exponentially more data now that I'm on Verizon's network than I ever did on the wholly unreliable AT&T (T - Get Report) tin can and string system. But it's a locational thing; your mileage may vary.Second, the notion of adding a device. So true. I switched to VZ from T when I bought two iPhone 5 smartphones, one for me and one for my wife. $199 a pop. Wow! What a bargain!! Bull. We pay $50 a month for 1GB of data. I won't even mention the monthly charge for having a smartphone. Our monthly bill comes to somewhere around $150. We're locked into a two-year contract. We are thinking of adding a device -- maybe an older iPhone -- for our child. That will ratchet up our monthly bill automatically and, quite possibly, cause us to up our data allocation. That's how it rolls. Do your homework. Listen to Verizon's call. I linked to it at the beginning of this article. Pay attention to the way they talked about smartphone subsidies in relation to device uptake and data consumption. Seemed to be pretty happy with the situation to me. Plus, Verizon referred to it as just one part of the company's overall cost structure. There's hardly a story here. Apple has -- seemingly -- pushed around wireless carriers for years. Don't let negative AAPL sentiment from Wall Street cloud your vision. Apple did not go and will not go from (cough, cough) fleecing companies like Verizon (they're not being fleeced!) to becoming a chew toy overnight. Not going to happen.