As the smartphone world continues exploding, many users still fear the extra fees that data connected devices can bring. We mentioned last December that a great solution for this would be family data plans, and Big Red even mentioned the possibilities of seeing them in 2012. If the image below is correct, it seems Verizon is very close to having these ready for us.

Engadget recently received a leaked image from a secret tipster. This is an image taken from the training material to an updated account management application. Said screenshot includes a new option, which is labeled as “account level data plans.”

According to the tipster, it seems we will be able to share our data, similar to how we currently share our voice minutes. There will be a charge for the main data plan and a $ 10 fee for every device to be added to said family data plan.

We often hear people say that they would love to have a smartphone, but data plans add up fast and sometimes come close to doubling monthly charges. Family data plans would be a great solution not only for smartphone newcomers, but for many other subscribers, as well.

This solution would make it easy to have other internet connected devices, such as tablets, netbooks, laptops and WiFi hotspot devices. Currently, a bill with a smartphone, a tablet and a WiFi hotspot would add up to at least $ 90 just in data charges. If we were able to start with a $ 30 data plan, this fee would go down to about $ 50. (This is simply an estimated demonstration, and does not reflect what the prices will actually be like).

There is no doubt consumers would be much more likely to get more smartphones (as well as other devices) if this option were available. If you think about it, and as I said last December, we’ve already moved to tiered data plans and are paying for our exact amount of gigabytes. It’s only fair that we’re able to use that data as we please.

We certainly hope we see these changes come soon. Until we hear more details about this, let’s stay tuned and be patient. What do you guys say? Will this move make it better for smartphone new-comers? Will you be more likely to purchase other devices like tablets, netbooks and WiFi hotspots?

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