Roughly, here is my existing plan: - 200 daytime minutes - 75 long distance minutes - 250 outgoing text messages, unlimited incoming - Voicemail 10 - Caller ID, call waiting, etc. - Free evenings and weekends beginning at 6pm This costs exactly $20/month after tax. I never exceed the voice/text limit. If I purchase an iPhone through my existing carrier, I have to sign an iPhone contract. For a comparable iPhone plan that includes 500MB of data, Im looking at approximately $60/month (not including 75 long distance minutes). So, I was thinking of being a little sly As an alternative, I can buy the iPhone directly from Apple, and then add data to my existing plan. The cheapest data add-on is $10/month, which gives you 100MB. If you exceed 100MB, you are then charged $20/month up to 250MB. I suspect the total cost would be about $35/month, plus the cost of the phone (assuming I dont exceed 100MB). Through monthly savings, it would take me a little less than 2 years to offset the subsidized price of the phone. The advantage of the data add-on strategy is that I wont be locked under contract, plus I will have an additional 75 long distance minutes. The initial cost of the phone would be substantially higher, but this would be offset in 2 years rather than 3. The other downside, by my lights, is that I would never be eligible for an upgrade through my carrier because Im not on an iPhone contract. In other words, if I wanted to buy the iPhone 5, I would have to pay full price again (but no contract, and a cheaper monthly rate). SOOOOOOOOO I need some reassurance that the data add-on strategy is the most effective. Im assuming I can resell the iPhone 4S relatively easily, which should help to offset the initial cost of future phones. Do you think 100MB/month is a reasonable estimate of data consumption? Ive never owned a smartphone before, so I dont anticipate being a heavy user. That, and Im almost always within range of a wifi network. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, and sorry for the novel!