Verizon Wireless confirmed Friday it will eliminate its one-year contract plan on smartphones and other mobile phones, effective April 17.

The carrier will continue to offer two-year contract plans and month-to-month pre-paid plans for its customers, a spokeswoman told Computerworld via email.

Verizon decided to eliminate the one-year plans, which gave a discount over an unlocked smartphone's cost, because they weren't popular. "The greater majority of customers sign up for a two-year contract and take advantage of the discounted promotion price," the spokeswoman said in an email.

Customers who already have a one-year contract are not affected by the change, the spokeswoman added. reported the end of the one-year contract based on an internal Verizon memo that explained the change to Verizon employees.

In that document, Verizon said "very few customers select one year contracts," and it made sense to eliminate them to simplify Verizon's procedures and remaining service plans.

The document notes that existing customers will not be affected until their contract expires or they upgrade.

Others not affected include business and government accounts and unspecified major accounts.

Some bloggers had theorized the one-year contracts were discontinued out of pressure from Apple prior to the launch later this year of the iPhone 5, but Verizon said the reason was that the one-year contracts were unpopular.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

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