Based on a post from AndroidCentral, it seems that Verizon will be changing their update policy later this month and we can’t say its for the better. According to the info on a slide obtained by AC, in order to “simplify” its upgrade policy Verizon customers currently on a standard two-year contract won’t be able to upgrade as early as they used to (specifically between months 13-20). Instead it looks like you will have to wait until your contract is almost entirely up. The worst part of all of this is that Verizon will begin phasing out its beloved “New Every Two” program as those customers go to renew their contracts. If you are on a one-year contract you won’t be affected.
While that irritates us quite a bit, what’s more puzzling is the timing. Why would Verizon choose now to change the policy, to phase out the “New Every Two” program that has proved to be huge hit for them since its inception? Then it hit us, the only thing that would make Verizon kill a program so well liked and risk the customer backlash would have to be something that would not only offset any backlash but make it moot. The only thing we can think of that could have that kind of effect for Verizon is Apple’s iPhone. If you look at it from that angle, it starts to make quite a bit of since. If you are Verizon, you have already calculated the number of new customers you expect to get and the number of existing customers you expect to be early adopters of the iPhone. This probably makes Verizon smile, until they think about all the folks who could upgrade early, the subsidy you would be giving them on the iPhone which I am sure Apple won’t be happy about, and the possible impact that could have on their network. Honestly, I don’t buy the whole Verizon’s network will suffer the same types of problems that AT&T’s has once the iPhone get there. The truth is that the iPhone is no more data intensive than the leading Android devices already humming away on Verizon’s network. The only way bandwidth and data becomes an issue on Verizon’s network is if Verizon is drastically off in their projections of new customers and aren’t prepared which I think is highly unlikely.
The bottom line on this one is folks are going to have to make sure they spend a lot more time researching the phone they want, because they are definitely going to be stuck with it for a while. As for the phones we have, we will just have to pray that those cell phone makers get their update schedules and capabilities together or its going to be a long 2 years. So is it just us or does something smell fishy about all this?