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Originally published February 2, 2011 at 7:33 AM | Page modified February 2, 2011 at 3:04 PM

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Verizon unveils pricing details for iPhone service

Verizon Wireless on Wednesday revealed details of how much it will charge iPhone users for voice, text and data service and said that it would begin accepting preorders on Thursday.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK —

Verizon Wireless on Wednesday revealed details of how much it will charge iPhone users for voice, text and data service and said that it would begin accepting preorders on Thursday.

Verizon said a basic voice plan including 450 minutes per month will cost $40.

A voice and text plan including unlimited text messages will start at $60 per month. And a separate data plan for getting e-mail and the Web will cost $30 per month. That's the same price Verizon charges customers for surfing the Web on other smartphones, such as the Droid 2 by Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.

Verizon said that customers will also be able to use the iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for an extra $20 per month - a feature AT&T does not offer iPhone users.

AT&T, which has sold the iPhone since 2007, takes a similar approach as Verizon in that it offers the same data plans to iPhone customers that it does the rest of its smartphone subscribers.

Like Verizon, it sells a $40 voice plan that includes 450 minutes.

But AT&T's $60 voice plan does not include unlimited text messages.

And whereas Verizon's $30 data plan includes unlimited data usage, AT&T's $25 plan allows subscribers to consume up to 2GB per month - enough, the company says, to stream music, watch videos and use potentially bandwidth-hogging applications.

AT&T also offers a data plan that costs $15 a month, but because it caps data usage at 200MB a month, it recommends it to people who primarily want to surf the Web, check e-mail and use social networking sites, all of which require less bandwidth than streaming music or video.

In a twist, Verizon is setting aside a limited number of iPhones for existing customers, and will not accept preorders from people who aren't already Verizon subscribers. It will begin taking preorders at 3 a.m. on Thursday.

Also unusual is the fact that customers who preorder their iPhones early may receive them before they go on sale to the general public on Feb. 10. Verizon said early orders will be shipped to arrive on if not before that day.

Like AT&T, Verizon will charge either $200 or $300 for the phone itself - with a two-year contract - depending on whether shoppers choose 16GB or 32GB of memory in the phone for storing music, apps and photos.

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