Tuesday 15 January 2013

Research: iPhone users are the data hungriest and smartphone data use overtakes tablet usage!

Image credit: OFCOM.
   There's been some very interesting research from Arieso.com today exposing the latest trends in mobile data use released today. The three key findings were that 'smartphone users now consistently consume more mobile data than tablet users', iPhone 5 users are officially the “hungriest” data consumers and 40% of all data is consumed by 1% of users!

   First and foremost we're going to look more in depth at how mobile phone data usage has overtaken tablet usage. Unsurprisingly, smartphones occupy all of the top ten usage spots excluding the 4th, 8th and 9th, which are inhabited by unspecified tablets, although we think the iPad will be one of them, as will the Kindle Fire. In case you were wondering what effect 'phablets' are having on the market then Arieso reports that the devices "are currently being used like smartphones, not tablets. If you can use it to make a phone call, the ‘phablet’ won’t be much like a tablet at all.” Instead, we think that phablets simply offer you the best of both world's: screen estate and the connectivity of a smartphone, so they're not designed to replace the tablet entirely.

   So, which one of these devices was sucking down the most data? Well, perhaps unsurprisingly it was the iPhone 5, followed by the HTC One XL and the Galaxy S3! Arieso reported that of the whole set of 125 devices, that they focused on in their research, the latest iPhone was challenged in usage for the first time in three years!

   It's interesting to note that there are a fair few people out there rocking the iPhone 3G as they used of quarter of the data that their iPhone 5 owning counterparts did and iPhone 4S users used half the data of people using the iPhone 5, which is perhaps the more surprising statistic. It suggests that people either upgraded their iPhone 4S to a 5 or that the iPhone 5 has proved considerably more popular! But, the 4S was the highest data consuming device in the research last year, so we think there has been a lot of upgraders. iCloud syncing and the amount of familiarity of most users with iOS and the app offerings are attributed for the consistently high data usage. The research was't dominated by the offerings from Cupertino though, Samsung's Galaxy S III users utilised nearly four times the amount of data than iPhone 3G users when it came to uploading quantities. Their usage also beat the iPhone 5, but trailed the Galaxy Note II users who are serial uploaders! Surprisingly, when it came to tablets Samsung Tab 2 10.1 users gobbled up 20% more data than iPad users!

   The top ten phones usage compared to iPhone 3G users look like this:
1. iPhone 5 - 414%
2. HTC Sensation XL - 317%
3. Samsung Galaxy S III - 315%
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 - 309%
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 - 307%
6. HTC One X - 286%
7. iPhone 4S - 279%
8. iPad - 261%
9. iPad 2 - 259%
10. Sony Ericsson Xperia 5 - 252%
   And finally, there was an interesting little statistic which showed how the heaviest users of mobile data used a whopping 40% of all of the data used by these mobile devices! Interestingly this was down 10% on the year before, so people are probably consuming a bit more data on average. So if 1% use 40%, you'll be surprised to hear that the top 10% of data users suck down 80% of the data, so it seems that you either go all in and use your data or you try your best to be very conservative with it! With figures like that in mind it's not at all surprising that US carriers are so keen on throttling the top 5% of users just to ensure their networks run nicely, it does seem slightly unfair on everyone else that people can use so much bandwidth!

The press release for this information can be found here.
Via PCPro.


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