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Verizon to drop unlimited data plans beginning July 7

Later this week, Verizon iPhone customers won't have their AT&T counterparts to kick around anymore. Verizon has confirmed to --Macworld that the company will be discontinuing its unlimited data plan option for new smartphone customers--including iPhone customers--as of Thursday, July 7. Last month, Verizon confirmed that the end was nigh for unlimited data plans, but didn't provide a date or any details; the alterations that came to light Tuesday were first reported by FierceWireless.

The change in plans has been a long-time coming; as far back as June 2010, Verizon floated the idea of switching to a tiered data plan. In doing so, it follows in the footsteps of AT&T, which initially offered only an unlimited data plan for the iPhone, but discontinued it for new customers last year in favor of two tiered options: 200MB for $15 per month and 2GB for $25 per month.

While existing Verizon smartphone customers can hold on to their unlimited data plans--even, Verizon confirms, if they upgrade to a new smartphone down the line--new customers will instead have a choice of three plans: 2GB for $30 per month, 5GB for $50 per month, or 10GB for $80 per month. In any case, overage will cost an additional $10 per gigabyte of data.

Verizon's personal hotspot offering, which lets customers share their smartphone's Internet connection with other devices, isn't affected by the change: It still costs an additional $20 per month for 2GB of tethered data.

These changes put the two U.S. iPhone carriers on similar footing, though with its 200MB plan, AT&T now has an undisputed hold on the low-end for casual smartphone users.

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