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Unlimited Data Not Worth The High Price for Verizon iPhone 5



Unlimited data is on the way out at Verizon.

The company hopes users upgrading to the Verizon iPhone 5 will pick a Share Everything Data plan and a cheap upgrade over unlimited data.

Verizon leaves a loophole open to users who want to upgrade to the iPhone 5 and keep unlimited data, but it requires paying full price for the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 off contract pricing starts at $649 and goes up to $849, or $450 more than an iPhone 5 on a two-year contract.

Read: Verizon vs. AT&T vs. Sprint – What’s the Best iPhone 5 Carrier?

For users who don’t use a significant amount of data Verizon’s tax on unlimited data isn’t worth paying, especially for users that use a lot of voice and texting or pay for a mobile hotspot feature.

iPhone 5 unlimited data

Costs to keep unlimited data on Verizon on the iPhone 5.

Users that can’t imagine life without unlimited data, and make use of jailbreaks or other methods to use tethering without paying Verizon’s monthly fees will make out in the long run, but for most users, the $450 premium to buy an off contract iPhone isn’t worth it.

Keep in mind this assumes a single line on Verizon, adding a 2nd line changes the numbers, but it’s easy to adjust the prices.

After running the numbers, unlimited voice, text and data on the old Verizon plans is $119.98 per month. Splitting the $450 price premium of the iPhone 5 off contract out over a two-year contract brings the average monthly cost to $138 a month.

For the same price, a user can get unlimited talk and text with a 10GB data plan on the new Share Everything plan. Users that consistently use less than 10GB of data a month should consider picking a cheap iPhone 5 upgrade and switching to Share Everything.

Verizon Share Everything iPhone 5

If you use less than 10GB of data a month, paying full price for the iPhone 5 may nto be a good deal.

The benefits are best for users that only use around 4GB of data a month, and don’t plan to use significant amounts in the future. At this price, users are paying $110 a month, saving $30 each month or $720 over a 2 year contract.

To check data usage history, log in to your Verizon account and click View Usage, or start the switch to Share Everything and scroll down to the bottom of the page to click on View Usage Details, which pops up last months data usage.

[polldaddy poll=6530787]



  1. Liam

    09/12/2012 at 9:18 pm

    Option 5 sue Verizon. I never got better than dial speeds on 3G

  2. madape

    09/13/2012 at 3:27 am

    Calculated savings did not account for up-front cost of subsidized iPhone (starting at $200, or $8.33/month over 2 years), so the gap would actually be even narrower.

    • madape

      09/13/2012 at 3:28 am

      actually, nevermind – i see what you did there

  3. dannunes1

    09/13/2012 at 11:35 am

    The numbers just don’t work out to me. I have 1400 mins on a family plan, one line with 250 txts/mo and one line with 1,000 txts/mo. We use about 3GB/data per mo. Switching to a Share Everything plan will cost an additional $30/mo for 4GB data. We’d get unlimited texting, but google voice already provides that and we don’t go anywhere near our voice call limit. $30 extra per month is $720 over 24 months, which is enough to cover the unsubsidized cost of an iphone 5 + extra for the other phone’s unsubsidized upgrade. Realistically though we’re going to wait until november to upgrade and only have to pay a $250 premium while not having to ever worry about going over our data usage.

  4. Matt Nguyen

    09/13/2012 at 3:13 pm

    this assumes you need unlimited talk/text. if not, then unlimited data on verizon with the 450min voice plan and $10 for 1000 texts is $80. so a diff of $30/month. or $720. add that to the base $200 for the phone and it’s $920. or i could buy the phone full retail for $650 and save $270 over 2 yrs.

  5. John Doezer

    09/13/2012 at 11:30 pm

    The difference is facetime over 4g. Video sucks bandwidth like a ******. Imagine going over your monthly bill could end up being $900.

  6. vz CEO

    09/17/2012 at 11:20 am

    Verizon will change their mind when apple sales drop off to other 4g companies because they won’t honor data plans and apple will put Verizon’s balls in a vice to get the sales numbers.

    • Terry

      11/12/2012 at 6:41 am

      So when will they have unlimited data they need to and lower the cost on there bills cause they just came out with the galaxy note 2 you will need unlimited data with that phone …..

  7. Michelle Long

    09/25/2012 at 10:21 am

    I don’t want to give up our unlimited data plan. So, we’ll wait and watch for iPhone 5 at cheaper prices on eBay or Amazon. Still — AT&T changed to allow people to keep their unlimited data plan — I wish Verizon would do the same.

  8. Michelle Long

    09/25/2012 at 10:25 am

    P.S. Your poll should have another option — NO. We’re waiting to get the iPhone 5 later or elsewhere because we don’t want to give up unlimited data.

  9. schermnaam

    09/26/2012 at 12:36 am

    I’m with Matt. The article makes a nice headline, but it leaves out the trend to talk less, text/facebook more, and 4g data tempting folks to data up. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to snag an employee discount (18-22% off monthly), the savings of keeping unlimited data and paying full retail can be about $650 over two years. On the other hand, if you need to tether a tablet that adds $240 to Share Everything vs $480 to unlimited, making the comparison a wash (without an employee discount) but you get to upgrade when you want to and you’re not extending your contract for essentially no added cost..

    Either way, the article’s premise, and Verizon’s new price structure, does not apply to many use patterns. But thanks for posing the question and offering an answer for some.

  10. Brandon

    09/28/2012 at 9:33 am

    I have two lines one of those lines is a smart phone with unlimited data and the other line in just a plain old phone no data or anything on it. It cost me 9.99/mo to have that line on my family share plan. I have 700 mins for both lines to share. I solely have that secondary line so i can upgrade each year. I simply used that upgrade for my iphone 5 and switched iphone 5 to my primary line and was able to keep my current plan and unlimited data. Next year my primary line will be upgradeable and I will use it for the next new phone i want. So there it is, 9.00 solves all your problems with upgrades and being forced into a shareeverything plan.

    • Will

      10/04/2012 at 10:06 pm

      Except it doesn’t really only cost you $9, because the 700-minute plan on for an individual phone is $79.99, but for the family plan, it costs $110 base cost plus $9.99 for each added line (assuming you have unlimited messaging including in both plans). So, it’s costing you $40 a month, and $960 over a two-year period.

      The 16 GB iPhone 5 costs about $705 after taxes. Simple math tells me you’d save $255 over the two-year period if you pay full price.

      • Joe

        10/07/2012 at 5:03 am

        It is illegal for a company to make one group of people (individual plan holders) jump through more hoops then another group (family plan holders) to get to the same result….the iphone 5 for a subsidized price. Look up federal and state laws.

  11. Joe

    10/07/2012 at 4:56 am

    Send in a Notice of Dispute form to verizon and dispute their new policy of stealing unlimited or making customers jump through hoops to keep it. It is illegal. Check your state fair trade statutes. Information on disputes is in their terms and conditions contract.

  12. Anthony Luong

    10/08/2012 at 2:38 am

    Use your dumb down phone on the same plan for a upgrade (32 gigs recommend) so that’s $299 then after do a device swap back to your line that you want your iphone 5 phone on, which has the unlimited data… Please don’t tell me this method does not work because I currently have unlimited data LTE on Verizon without paying the full retail price for the 5. Blazing unlimited LTE speeds on the iphone 5 love itt!

  13. Craig Morley

    10/24/2012 at 7:49 pm

    I am with Verizon and happy with their coverage. Here is the math for me (Excel spreadsheet from current bill). 2 iPhones and one regular line for a child. Insurance on both iPhones. Currently, Nationwide Share 700 ($66.50), 3 Line Access fees ($30), Unlimited email and Web on 2 iPhones ($60) and miscellaneous surchares and taxes. Total current monthly bill. $187.85. If I switch to Share Everything Plus … Monthly line access ($110), 6 gb shared data ($80), same misc surcharges and taxes. Total monthy bill $219. The difference would be a savings of $31.15 per month. Multiply by 24 months of contract, subtract the $450 difference in cell phone price for a 64 Gb iPhone 5 , and I end up with a savings of $297 over two years and keep unlimited data on my iPhone 5. Of course, I’m not too worried about sharing data since my wife doesn’t really use much. The only way I come out losing is if I only get 2 Gb worth of shared data. Really????!!!!! I will probably go through that in a couple of days when I first get it. There is a reason Verizon wants to move people off of unlimited data. DO THE MATH!!!

  14. Mathew Smith

    11/10/2012 at 2:14 am


    I have unlimited verizon. Talk 200 min (500 nights/weekends) 29.99$, NO TEXT 0$, Unlimited data 29.99$. College alumni discount cuts out Verizon’s fees and gov taxes. I use google voice and grooveip to make UNLIMITED call and text to US and Canada. VOIP calls are awesome on Verizons network. 60$ a month! ! !

    I have a gs3 (dont like iphone). If i wanted the iphone, I would –
    1) set up another line.
    2) get the iphone with a 2 year contract on blackfriday (best deals)
    3) put that phone on my current account. Put a 10$ phone on that new account.
    4) Downgrade that phone’s plan.

    The basic plan for 2 lines is a family share plan for 60$ month. Now i am paying 90$ a month with the iphone and increased minutes.

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