Verizon 2 Nix Data Pkg 4 Feature Phones: Pantech Crux & LG Octane in Q4

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Verizon Wireless reportedly will be changing the data-plan rules for feature phones.  The Kin One and Kin Two from Verizon were discontinued shortly after hitting the market.  Many believe it was because the teen-focused messaging, web and social media Kin phones required a hefty $29.99 a month unlimited data plan from Verizon.  Feature phones at Verizon currently require at least a $9.99 data package.

Feature phones have many of the features of a smartphones but not all.  Verizon' change in plans follows AT&T's new tiered data pricing on all their smartphones.  The data plans do not have unlimited data but lower monthly fees.  AT&T data plans are $15 a month for 200 megabytes and $25 a month for 2 gigabytes.

A leaked Verizon internal memo foretells the future of 3G multimedia phones at Verizon . Current Verizon feature phones examples include the LG Chocolate Touch, Samsung Alias 2 and Samsung Reality. 

The memo says:

"Beginning in Q4, VZW does not plan to introduce any new models of devices with in the 3G Multimedia device category. New Feature Phones launching during Q4 will not require a data package.
You can and should still continue to offer data packages for new
devices in the Features Phone category as these devices will have
similar simillar functionality to our 3G multimedia devices."

New feature phones such as the Pantech Crux and LG Octane will replace
the LG Env3 that still requires a data package.  A data package of $9.99
or higher will continue to be required on all 3G Multimedia phones on
any inventory activated or if a customer brings in his/her own 3G
Multimedia phone and wants to activate Verizon service.  Verizon will
not buy back any 3G Multimedia phones.

The no-data-needed deal is only for new Feature Phones. In the data card
department, Veriizon will begin rolling out in select markets 4G data,
and will be selling news 3G/4G data cards. They suggest Verizon sales
people sell 3G/4G cards for future 4G access they will not buy back 3G
data cards.

Update 09/22/10 - Verizon has confirmed that their LTE network will roll out by the end of this year.