Verizon Wireless instituted a new data plan for certain feature phones with the unveiling of its new Samsung Rogue phone. Verizon said that customers who buy the Rogue and want to access the Web, email and download applications will be required to purchase a $9.99 monthly data plan for 25 MB and a $19.99 monthly data plan for 75 MB of data.
Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney said that the data plan requirement applied only to the Rogue and not to other feature phones currently in the carrier's lineup. She did confirm that the data plan requirement would be applied to other feature phones in the future.
Rumblings of data price changes at Verizon Wireless surfaced last week. According to the Boy Genius Report blog, Verizon created a new class of devices, called "Enhanced Multimedia" phones, that have a full HTML browser, run on EV-DO Rev. A, have a full Qwerty keyboard and launch on or after Sept. 8. The blog said that going forward Verizon would require these devices to have a minimum monthly data plan of $9.99.
Raney said that Verizon was not marketing a new class of devices called "Enhanced Multimedia" phones, but said that some of the characteristics of the phones that will be required to have the data plan option include having a full HTML browser, the ability to check email and access social networking websites.
The Rogue has a 3.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, a full HTML browser and Qwerty keyboard, and sports a 3-megapixel camera and access to the carrier's music, video and visual voicemail services. The phone will cost $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate.
The operator also launched another Samsung phone, the Intensity. The phone has a 2.1-inch display, a full Qwerty keyboard, 1.3-megapixel camera and a music player. The Intensity costs $29.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.
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