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Is Verizon's $70 unlimited data plan for iPhone?

The largest U.S. carrier sent out e-mails to select customers inviting them to help test a new unlimited data and texting plan, perhaps in anticipation of the Verizon iPhone.

Not for everyone. Screenshot by Matt Hickey/CNET

Last week, U.S. Cellular introduced new unlimited data and texting plans for smartphones that include 450 minutes for just $70 a month. This week, Verizon has started testing an almost identical promotion. We're not sure if Verizon's plans are a reaction to the U.S. Cellular move, but it's possible. Both providers also offer a $140 family plan, with U.S. Cellular's including 5GB of data, while Verizon's is unlimited.

Verizon's unlimited plans could also be in place because the carrier is getting ready for an in-demand iDevice early next year. The offer is currently being sent to "select" Verizon customers, though we're not sure what it takes to qualify.

If (and it's still an if, not a when, despite all the rumors and leaks) the iPhone comes to Verizon, some AT&T users are expected to defect. Verizon, of course, wants all iPhone users to come to its network, and these new plans might be a test to see if it can undercut AT&T's plans for iPhone users, which are $15 for every 200MB used, or $25 for every 2GB of data used (those don't account for customers who were grandfathered in when the unlimited data plan was discontinued).

A Verizon customer I know called today to try to get the plan and was told he didn't qualify, though he couldn't get the carrier to give him a reason. He, was told, however, that he could get onto Verizon's new plans that are similar to AT&T's tiered plans. Still, if the iPhone for Verizon does hit this winter as some are claiming it will, this could put some pressure on AT&T to adjust its recently announced tiered plans to compete.