Congrats on the new phones! I can certainly understand your concern and would love to address any questions you may have.
The main difference is that the iPhone 5 is a 4G LTE phone which consumes larger amounts of data than our 3G phones. Some examples of use that consume data are web browsing, application downloads/updates, social media browsing among many other things. How do you typically use your device?
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Good luck with that! We upgraded from 4 to 5s in May, and have had to increase our data from 2 gigs to 10 (as of this writing ... by morning, I may have had to increase it to 12! And apparently, the more you increase your data plan, the more the phone uses! With no change in usage!
My daughter had the iPhone 4, and in late April we upgraded her to the 5C. I'd been hearing about the jump in data use, so we watched her account closely. Sure enough, it spiked... she spend a good deal of time going through all her apps, and shutting off the data auto updates, and set things to update and backup over wifi only.
Then she installed Onavo so she could see exactly where the data was "leaking", Data Usage - Onavo Count - Data Manager App on the App Store on iTunes and make adjustments if needed. She's not a "techie", and I stay away from Apple when I can, but between us, we got her data use to right around 1 GB on her 2 GB plan allowance, as it was before.
Most of it seemed to be apps updating and running all the time, on or off wifi (like Facebook, Instagram, and other social connection type stuff), keeping her always updated and in touch. She had to set things to update on demand if she was not on wifi and is now able to manage to stay under her 2GB easily.
And of course, there was no mention of the 4G using more data than the 3G when they were hard-selling us on the iphone 5! Thanks, guys!
4G in and of itself will not use more data. When upgrading to a 4G device my data usage did not change at all. I have used an iPhone 5 and my data usage did not change when I made that switch. Using a 4G android device, I currently have the same data usage as when on the iPhone 5 and the same as when I had a 3G Droid X.
Face it, when we get new toys, we want to try them out. Trying out all of these features, you may not THINK you have data usage but you very well MAY be using data. Without going thru all of the settings BEFORE playing with your new toy, you can certainly use a lot of data. Taking photos, for instance. We all hear what a great camera the iPhone has and when I first got it, I ran it thru the ringer taking photos right and left. Guess what. Taking photos CAN use cellular data IF you do not check your settings. I took hundreds of photos when first using the phone which WOULD have increased my data usage had I not FIRST checked to make sure those photos were not automatically uploaded to my photo stream unless on wifi.
Every new app you add to your device, you should always check the settings to make sure you are aware how this app will affect your data usage.