In an unfortunate press statement released this morning, Verizon Wireless announced that starting April 22, customers will be charged a $30 mobile device upgrade fee. The U.S. carrier's reason for implementing the fee is supposedly to "continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever."

It would appear that the new policy would apply to 3G and 4G tablets as well, since the fee covers "all mobile devices."

Prior to this move, Verizon had been the only carrier not to charge its customers with an upgrade fee. Both AT&T and Sprint charged $36 to upgrade to a new device on contract, while T-Mobile charges customers $18 to upgrade.

via GigaOm