Update: In response to the rather vocal outcries of many of its subscribers on the web, Verizon has clarified what will happen to 3G/4G data plans explicitly. The takeaway is this: anyone purchasing a smartphone from this summer forward on subsidy pricing will be pushed into tiered/shared data. If you choose not to buy a smartphone on subsidy, you can keep your unlimited plan if you choose to.

This means if you renew your 2-year agreement, from this summer forward, on any line by buying a "discounted" phone, you lose unlimited.

Here are the exact statements:

  • Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.
  • When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.
  • Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.
  • The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.

We all knew it was coming: the death of unlimited. At Verizon, specifically. And this time, there's no escaping it.

From this summer onward, when Verizon launches its shared bucket data plans for families, if you buy a 4G phone, you will be transferred to a tiered data plan - end of story. While current 4G phone owners with unlimited plans will be allowed to live out the duration of their remaining contracts with unlimited data, the next time you (or anyone on your plan, for that matter) upgrade your handset to anything with 4G LTE service, your unlimited goes bye-bye for good.

Verizon will force individual subscribers onto its basic tiered data plans, and multi-line subscribers will be moved onto shared data "buckets" (pricing unknown).

While 3rd-party retailers and Verizon's customer retention may be able to swing you a "special deal" if you rant enough, for most people this does mean the end of unlimited. It was good while it lasted.

FierceWireless via TheVerge