End of Verizon One-Year Contract Option for Phones: Report

Verizon Wireless is phasing out one-year contract options for its cell phone service, according to a report.Computerworld on Friday confirmed with a Verizon spokeswoman one-year contract plans for smartphones and mobile phones will be eliminated starting April 17. Two-year and month-to-month plans will continue, however, said the report.While most smartphones advertised these days show the price with a two-year contract, Verizon Wireless had a one-year option for customers who wanted the flexibility of being able to get a new phone or switch providers after 12 months instead of 24. That option, naturally, costs a little more money.A one-year contract is particularly useful for users who like to upgrade to a new phone every year. Otherwise, users stuck in a two-year contract have to pay full retail price if they want to get a new phone before the contract ends. Full price smartphones can be well over $500.So why did Verizon drop this option then? According to the report, the plans simply weren’t popular and a majority of customers went for two-year plans.Those currently on one-year plans will not be affected by the change, said the report.Verizon told FOX Business in January when Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 was launched on the network that all of its phones have a one-year option. The spokeswoman, Brenda Raney, said there were no plans to change the policy for the iPhone. However, at the moment Verizon’s online wireless store still does not show such an option for the popular smartphone.As Computerworld’s report points out, some bloggers suggest this phase-out of one-year contracts could be related to the iPhone and due to pressure from Apple ahead of an iPhone 5 launch later in the year.Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE:VOD).