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7/23/2010
02:02 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Droid X Users Sucking Down Data Like Mad

A Verizon Wireless representative recently said that users of the Motorola Droid X are already consuming five times the amount of mobile data of other Verizon Wireless phones. But for how long?

Maybe the "X" in the Droid X's name means "times"? Speaking this week at the paidContent Mobile conference on Monday, Verizon business development executive director Jennifer Byrne noted that the Droid X is making its mark on the network. In its first week of availability, Verizon saw a five-fold increase in data use by Droid X owners when compared to other phones on its network.

Verizon Wireless saw a similar surge in mobile data use when it introduced the original Motorola Droid in November 2009. Droid X owners are likely filling their smartphones up with applications and content, hence the data surge. That 4.3-inch display begs for video content. Since the device records video at 720p, it's also not unreasonable to assume that Droid X users are uploading video to services such as YouTube. The data demand by Droid X users will likely abate over time.

Right now, Droid X, Droid Incredible and Droid owners don't have to worry about how much data they use, as Verizon Wireless offers its smartphone users unlimited (well, OK, 5GB) of data for $30 per month. That might be changing soon.

Engadget received a tip on July 20 that Verizon Wireless plans to move to tiered data pricing as soon as July 29. Verizon Wireless has already hinted more than once that it plans to move away from the unlimited data plans currently offered to smartphone subscribers, but it hasn't indicated when.

Most believe the switch to tiered data wouldn't take place until Verizon Wireless launches its Long Term Evolution network later this year. That 4G launch will represent and entirely new paradigm in mobile broadband, and Verizon will want to capitalize on it from the start. I fully expect tiered pricing to accompany whatever LTE devices are first available.

It would be an unwelcome surprise if Verizon Wireless does indeed switch to tiered data on July 29. That means anyone purchasing a smartphone after that date might be limited to plans similar to AT&T's, which cost $15 for 200MB, and $25 for 2GB.

The Droid 2, a sequel to the original Droid, is expected to launch in August with Android 2.2. It would be one of the first to suffer from tiered pricing if the July 29 date is accurate.

Verizon Wireless has not commented on this story.

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