Verizon Starts iPhone Service Plans At $40, AT&T Plugs Talk/Surf Advantage

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Verizon Wireless on Tuesday unveiled pricing for service plans for the Apple iPhone 4, a day after AT&T fired a preemptive shot at its new competitor with a reminder to customers that only AT&T lets customers talk and surf the Internet at the same time.

Verizon is offering a number of plans for its iPhone 4 smartphone, which customers can order starting at 3 a.m. EST Thursday.

Verizon Wireless said last month that its version of the iPhone 4 would ship starting Feb. 10.

Customers can choose from a Nationwide Talk plan starting at $39.99 for 450 minutes; a Nationwide Talk and Text plan starting at $59.99 with unlimited text, picture, and video messaging; and an unlimited e-mail and Web data plan at $29.99 per month.

Customers can also sign up for a 3G Mobile Hotspot plan that will let them power up to five devices over Wi-Fi starting at $20 per month with a 2-GB data limit.

The talk and text plans cost roughly the same for both Verizon and AT&T. In terms of data plans, however, light users of such things as e-mail can get a 200-MB plan for $15 per month, or a 2-GB plan for $25 per month from AT&T, compared to $30 per month from Verizon for unlimited data, according to the online news site TechNewsDaily.

Customers who sign up for a two-year agreement can purchase the iPhone 4 from Verizon for $199.99 for the 16-GB version or $299.99 for the 32-GB version, which is the same as AT&T's price.

The Verizon iPhone 4 will also be available from Best Buy, that retailer said.

AT&T has been fighting back at the new competition offered by Verizon for the iPhone business.

In addition to cutting its price for the 8-GB version of the iPhone 3GS to $49, the company on Monday started sending e-mails to its customers reminding them that only AT&T allows them to talk and surf the Internet at the same time, a feature not available with Verizon, according to the online news site Gear Live.

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