Study Finds Wireless Data Consumption of iPhone 4S Doubled from iPhone 4

by

Reuters reports on a new study from mobile network consulting firm Arieso showing that iPhone 4S users consume twice as much data as iPhone 4 users, with new features such as Siri driving the increased demand.

IPhone 4S users transfer on average three times more data than users of the older iPhone 3G model which was used as the benchmark in a study by telecom network technology firm Arieso.

Data usage of the previous model, the iPhone 4, was only 1.6 times higher than the iPhone 3G, while iPad2 tablets consumed 2.5 times more data than the iPhone 3G, the study showed.

The spike in data usage for iPhone 4S users is likely not fully explained by the debut of Siri on the device, as a study by Ars Technica conducted soon after the device's launch revealed an average of 63 KB of data used per query. With even high-use users reporting making an average of fifteen queries per day, that would equate to approximately 30 MB of usage per month if all queries were performed over cellular networks.


As noted by ZDNet, other factors such as iTunes Match, iCloud, device speeds, larger photos, and "new toy syndrome" are also all likely contributing to the increased data usage.

Data usage has become a major area of concern for carriers as they seek to deal with the surging demand from smartphone users that are growing rapidly in number and in their demands for content. While a number of carriers such as AT&T and Verizon launched the iPhone with "unlimited" data plans, most carriers have now switched to tiered data plans for new customers as they seek to encourage more modest data consumption and extract additional revenue from the heaviest data users.

Consequently, customers have had to become more aware of their data usage needs as they determine which data plan to sign up for in order to avoid what can be significant overage charges.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
112 months ago
False conclusions

I can almost guarantee that Siri is not the main culprate doubling data usage. I think the obvious explanation is sociological not technological. People who use their phone more often and consume more data are also more likely to upgrade their phone to the latest and greatest (iphone 4s). Thus, a large portion of iPhone 4s users consume more data. Siri is just a way for those people to consume (content/data) with a few less touches.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
112 months ago

Makes sense. Since the 4S was released, data has been nearly unusable in midtown during peak hours. Of course, AT&T denies it and closed my case because last Friday I was upstate and was able to download an album, so they assumed my data issue was resolved.


I have been experiencing the same issue and couldn't get anyone at AT&T to admit a problem. I called probably 10 times and got the same answer every time "We do not show any tower outages in your area."
My employer also uses AT&T iPhones and air cards and has been experiencing the same issues I was...unusabley slow data speeds. Our IT department finally spoke to someone with a brain and the guts to admit the problem. Which is: In anticipation for the T-Mobile merger AT&T had opted to not upgrade some of their towers because they thought they would be taking over T-Mobiles, or something like that. Because of that, some of the towers are outdated and can't handle the load. In my specific area we were told that the tower should be fixed by January 13th but that doesn't mean it will be fully on line by that date, so I should expect to wait until the end of January to see improvement.
So after getting a solid answer I called AT&T and said I want some money off of my bill since my phone is useless unless I'm on wifi. Once again I got the company line "all towers are functioning." So I kinda got rude and told them that I already know exactly what the problem is, where it is, and when it will supposedly be fixed. And then the best customer line ever: "How is AT&T going to compensate customers?" I got $30 off so I guess that's good. And I know this has nothing at all to do with this article but I saw this guy's post and wanted to offer my experience.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
112 months ago
I use far more data on my 4S than my 3GS simply because it's so much faster.

Rather than turn wifi on and off depending on where I am, I end up keeping it off 90% of the time, using far more data than I used on my 3GS.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
112 months ago

Doesn't do us much good when they throttle it.

I have 5 lines on my account, 4 have "Unlimited Data"

Only one line uses about 10 GB per month, and that one is throttled every month.

WTF?!~

----------



Who cares? What do you work for AT&T or something?

no but people who take advantage of it while wifi is avab but dont bother using it and then complain about horrible network speed or network outtages deserve to be trottled
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
112 months ago
the pied pipper...

Siri... why art thou's data plan so costly???
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
112 months ago
It seems strange that the iPad2 was listed instead of simply iPad (referring to both first- and second-generation models), as it doesn't have any additional 3G functionality. Facetime arrived with iPad 2 but as that's Wi-Fi only, the only drain on 3G is Safari, iTunes, App Store and Book Store.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Apple Launches New Gift Card for 'Everything Apple'

Friday July 31, 2020 3:45 am PDT by
Apple has introduced a new single gift card in the U.S. for all things Apple. First spotted by iCulture, the card can be used at the App Store and other online services, but you can also use it to buy products and accessories in the Apple Store. Previously, there were two separate Apple gift cards available: iTunes cards, which can be used for App Store, iTunes Store, and iCloud storage...

Leaker Jon Prosser Claims iPhone 12 and New iPads Will Launch in October

Wednesday July 29, 2020 4:15 pm PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser, who has a somewhat mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans, today said that new iPhone 12 models and new iPads will launch in October. Multiple rumors have suggested that some or all of the iPhone 12 models coming this year will see a later than normal launch. Apple typically unveils and releases new iPhones in the month of September, but problems...