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.

iphone 4s siri
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

charlesbobby Avatar
125 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)
TonyC28 Avatar
125 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)
kskill Avatar
125 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)
bushido Avatar
125 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)
blue22 Avatar
125 months ago
the pied pipper...

Siri... why art thou's data plan so costly???
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thekeyring Avatar
125 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

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...