When verizon revealed the new share plan people went up in arms about wanting to keep their unlimited data. So vzw offered a compromise in that if you buy your phone outright you can keep unlimited data. Some believe the avg increase for data would be 30 a month. So is paying full retail for a phone worth unlimited data. Well lets do the math. 1st unlike non-contract carriers and t-mobile buying a phone full retail DOES NOT make you bill cheaper. Whether you get a phone "for the free" or spend $1000 you are still paying the smart phone plan. 2nd I did the math the avg increase from standard plan to family share plan is $30. $30 x 24 months (2 year contract) is $720.00 where buying a phone full retail is on average $699-$799 for new device. So that begs me to ask do you really come out ahead if you pay full retail for your device to keep unlimited data?
For me no. I looked at my usage and I average 2gigs a month with me only busting that during football season when I am doing a lot of streaming. Seriously the average user do not use 2 gigs a month especially those with high speed internet at the house. Those with out any internet at the house may find it worth paying full retail for a phone. I can not justify paying $700 + for a phone (which sadly I did once with my rezound) while still paying on avg $100 for a cell phone plan. Now if it was like virgin mobile where paying $799 would drop my bill to $35 a month then I would be all over paying full retail.
So I challenge you to look at your usage and think deep and hard is it worth paying full price for a phone just to keep "unlimited" data, especially if your avg usage is between 2-3 gigs.