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iPhone 4S users consume nearly twice as much data as iPhone 4 - study

post #1 of 21
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A wireless industry study has found that iPhone 4S owners on average use roughly twice as much data as iPhone 4 owners and three times as much as iPhone 3G users.

Telecom network technology firm Arieso cited the Siri virtual assistant feature as contributing to the increase, according to Reuters. The study used Apple's three-year-old iPhone 3G model as a benchmark.

The firm discovered that data usage of the iPhone 4 was 1.6 times higher than the iPhone 3G, while iPad 2 tablets consumed 2.5 times more data. The iPhone 4S was the heaviest on usage with three times the amount used by the iPhone 3G.

"I use the iPhone 4 myself and when I first heard of the iPhone 4S features I was not compelled to rush out and get one. However, the data usage numbers I am seeing make me wonder what I am missing," Arieso's chief technology officer, Michael Flanagan, said of the study.

Flanagan also noted that tablet usage closely resembled that of high-end smartphones. "A tablet still looks like a big smartphone," he said.

According to Bloomberg, Arieso's research found that one percent of the high-use subscribers consumed half of the data volumes. The hungry are getting hungrier, Flanagan said.

An earlier inquiry into Siri's data usage discovered that the service consumes about 63KB per query. As such, using the feature 10 to 15 times a day would take up 18.5 to 27.7MB per month.

Siri is still in beta mode, with limited functionality outside of the U.S. Apple is, however planning a rapid international expansion for Siri this year. The company is actively hiring iOS software engineers to help develop the Application Programming Interface for Siri and port the feature to other languages.

AppleInsider tested the iPhone 4S on the AT&T, Sprint and Verizon networks shortly after its release. Extended tests showed that AT&T was generally faster than its rivals, while Verizon had broader coverage. Meanwhile, Sprint struggled with often unusable data service.



The rise in iPhone data consumption comes as Sprint is the only U.S. network to offer an unlimited data plan. CEO Dan Hesse was thought to have made comments this week undermining the carrier's unlimited offer, but it later turned out that he was referring to abusive data practices when roaming.

The iPhone has actually brought about broad changes in the wireless industry. AT&T, Apple's original carrier partner in the U.S., was initially surprised by the amount of data users consumed. The carrier was left scrambling to keep up with demand from Apple's customers, with one report from 2009 comparing the iPhone to a Hummer.

Apple waited until the second-generation iPhone to add 3G data services, allowing AT&T time to steadily improve its 3G network. The iPhone maker has also opted to wait for 4G LTE to become more mature. CEO Tim Cook said the first generation of LTE chipsets required "design compromises" that Apple was unwilling to make. Reports have suggested that Apple may release LTE iPad and iPhone models starting this year.

Verizon got a head start on AT&T when it rolled out its LTE network in December 2010. But, AT&T has been steadily making progress, announcing on Thursday that it had expanded its LTE network to 11 new cities for a total of 26 markets.
post #2 of 21
SoftBank gives me unlimited data, so far I consumed 880MB -this is only cellular data-. Not much, then again I try to limit my usage due to the poor battery life.

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iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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post #3 of 21
Or - the biggest users of data have been the fastest to move to the latest version of the phone.

The article doesn't say what the averages are, and whether that potential 30Mb from Siri usage would be significant overall.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

SoftBank gives me unlimited data, so far I consumed 880MB -this is only cellular data-. Not much, then again I try to limit my usage due to the poor battery life.

I'm also on SoftBank. My battery has been fine on my 4S since I turned off the automatic time. I mean really, we are in Japan which only has one time zone. We don't need it anyway. I use anywhere from 500-1000 megs a month. I just wish SoftBank didn't have such a high latency. Still better than AU... I have all my features
post #5 of 21
I like how the example Siri request in the picture for location asks where 1 Infinite Loop is, when the user is clearly in 2 Infinite Loop. Not that it helps Siri to be next door...
post #6 of 21
its because the camera is a higher res and people are uploading massive photos
post #7 of 21
When my wife got her 4S, her data usage quadrupled without any change in her usage habits whatsoever. Having only the 200MB plan for her, I was trouble by this sudden increase in usage. She swore up and down that she hadn't done anything that would have accounted for such a dramatic increase in usage so I called AT&T. They claimed it was probably email being pushed to the phone (and she gets a lot of email) but I didn't buy it. The 3 weeks in question that I noticed this surge in usage, she was home from work the entire time and on WiFi. Interestingly, I shut off 3G data altogether and sure enough, the usage stopped. However, when I turned 3G data back on, I turned off a slew of other features that she didn't need and the extra usage stopped. The conclusion after all this was that the 4S' default settings used a lot more data than her 3G OR AT&T was doing something on their end trying to pad my bill. Not being a conspiracy theorist, I'll go with the former (assuming, of course, that my wife was telling the truth).

That being said, I wonder if something like my experience could account for some of the extra data usage the article is referring to.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by indiekiduk View Post

its because the camera is a higher res and people are uploading massive photos

Also while the 4 (regular) does support photostream, most of the heavy users are buying 4S and enabling it. I think for me, photostream uses more bandwidth then everything else combined.
post #9 of 21
does photostream work on 3g i thought only wifi

I wish there was an option of chosing a lower camera res, i have a separate app to do this
but when i send iMessage pictures "free" how large are the file sizes for sent pictures through iMessage??
is there a way to find out
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

When my wife got her 4S, her data usage quadrupled without any change in her usage habits whatsoever. Having only the 200MB plan for her, I was trouble by this sudden increase in usage. She swore up and down that she hadn't done anything that would have accounted for such a dramatic increase in usage so I called AT&T. They claimed it was probably email being pushed to the phone (and she gets a lot of email) but I didn't buy it. The 3 weeks in question that I noticed this surge in usage, she was home from work the entire time and on WiFi. Interestingly, I shut off 3G data altogether and sure enough, the usage stopped. However, when I turned 3G data back on, I turned off a slew of other features that she didn't need and the extra usage stopped. The conclusion after all this was that the 4S' default settings used a lot more data than her 3G OR AT&T was doing something on their end trying to pad my bill. Not being a conspiracy theorist, I'll go with the former (assuming, of course, that my wife was telling the truth).

That being said, I wonder if something like my experience could account for some of the extra data usage the article is referring to.


what do you turn off??

also if under wifi isn't this priortized, meaning if you are connected to wifi why is 3g data being used,
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post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

does photostream work on 3g i thought only wifi

I wish there was an option of chosing a lower camera res, i have a separate app to do this
but when i send iMessage pictures "free" how large are the file sizes for sent pictures through iMessage??
is there a way to find out

You are correct, Photostream only works over WiFi. BeltsBear's comment about it adding to 3G cellular data usage is wrong.

indiekuk's point about the 4S camera generating larger images and videos remains valid; it will use more data, cellular or WiFi.

I don't have an answer to your iMessage question since I don't use iMessage. Your favorite search engine should be capable enough to find the answer on the Internet for you. If your Internet searching skills are weak, or if you are just plain lazy, please visit the Genius Bar at an Apple Store. Good luck.
post #12 of 21
I noticed right after I got my 4S that my data usage went through the roof. I wasn't using the phone anymore than I normally did, but the phone was sending multi MB data dumps to Apple each night. I turned off the error reporting, and it stopped the problem. I also think that some of the included apps pull more data than before (like the location aware weather app).
post #13 of 21
Who doesn't play with a new toy more than one that they've owned for a while? When I first got my iPad 2, I was bumping up against my data cap for the first few months as I explored what it could do. Now, although the machine is still very much loved, my data usage is about half what it used to be.
post #14 of 21
I'm sure the new messaging system is responsible for a decent percentage of the traffic. Instead of the unlimited messaging most users are used to, iMessaging runs through the data plan. Start sending pictures, and you eat up data faster than you'll realize.

Not quite sure how that's an improvement over the old way of doing things.
post #15 of 21
I thought this is a given, um, given that Siri uses data to send/receive its queries/results. Every time one uses Siri, one uses data. Seems obvious to me that the 4S would consume more data.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

You are correct, Photostream only works over WiFi. BeltsBear's comment about it adding to 3G cellular data usage is wrong.

indiekuk's point about the 4S camera generating larger images and videos remains valid; it will use more data, cellular or WiFi.

I don't have an answer to your iMessage question since I don't use iMessage. Your favorite search engine should be capable enough to find the answer on the Internet for you. If your Internet searching skills are weak, or if you are just plain lazy, please visit the Genius Bar at an Apple Store. Good luck.

Here's what I found its empirical but can give insight

MuddyPaws said: ↑
Very true but the point I was trying to make is that for some users, iMessage could be a HUGE data user. You are right, it doesn't compress the video or picture. That's what I was talking about. A 20 meg video sends as a 20 meg video. A 1.8 meg picture sends as a 1.8 meg picture.
Wrong! iMessage not only does compress pics and videos, but it also reduces resolution.

I just sent a 48.6MB video over 3G and the received video was only 890KB--a data reduction of more than 98%. The resolution went from 1080x1920 to 180x320 (and still looked better to me than MMS).

A full-sized iPhone 4S pic that was 1.7MB was reduced to 427KB. This went from 2448x3264 down to 960x1280.

What did surprise me, however, is that it also compresses over wifi, but not as much as when on 3G. I can see the logic in this as sending full-sized videos an "instant" message service kind of takes away the instant part.




Michael

From a forum site

BUT I wish I was given compression option as with email

I wish there was a "save data" app
That updates as methods are learned

With the above
the top
1 or 5% data hogs that Are throttled remains well above me
Seems it becomes a moving target
We all become data hogs maybe AT&T plan
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post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

I thought this is a given, um, given that Siri uses data to send/receive its queries/results. Every time one uses Siri, one uses data. Seems obvious to me that the 4S would consume more data.

i think Siri is only one factor. iCloud is another. Now that it is free more folks have likely signed up and it is pushing instant updates every time you change a contact, calendar etc. Some of the new system services like the time zones probably aren't helping.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

what do you turn off??

also if under wifi isn't this priortized, meaning if you are connected to wifi why is 3g data being used,

I don't recall exactly. I'll have to get back to you on that. Also, every time I wake her 4S up, it always comes up in 3G first and then switches to WiFi within a second or two. Wondering if, when it's checking email while asleep, it's using 3G.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A wireless industry study has found that iPhone 4S owners on average use roughly twice as much data as iPhone 4 owners and three times as much as iPhone 3G users.

Telecom network technology firm Arieso cited the Siri virtual assistant feature as contributing to the increase, according to Reuters. The study used Apple's three-year-old iPhone 3G model as a benchmark.

The firm discovered that data usage of the iPhone 4 was 1.6 times higher than the iPhone 3G, while iPad 2 tablets consumed 2.5 times more data. The iPhone 4S was the heaviest on usage with three times the amount used by the iPhone 3G.

I really wish these 'technology experts' would learn some logical thinking.

iPhone 4 - 1.6 times the data of iPhone 3G
iPad 2 - 2.6 times the data of iPad 1
iPhone 4S - 2 times the data of iPhone 4

Only the last of those has Siri. The logical conclusion is that EVERY new device causes users to access more data than the previous version. The 4S (with Siri) is not out of line at all, so why would you conclude that Siri is a significant part of the cause?

There are probably a number of factors involved:
1. New users may use their phones more than someone who has had the phone for a while. The "I got a new toy, so I'm going to play with it" effect. So 4S users (who have had their phone 4 months or less) might use more data than 4 or 3GS users (who could have had their phone for 2 years or more).
2. More and more features are available on the cloud every day. Siri is only one of the new things that have become popular on the Internet that are accessible with cell phones.
3. In particular, there are some BIG data users that could skew the results. For example, the ability to sync and update over 3G is in iOS 5, but not in earlier versions. So some of the 4 and 3GS users do not have the ability to do that while all 4S users can do that. That alone could cause a significant increase in data usage.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #20 of 21
Are they complaining about the increase? Here's an idea, Give your customers what they want. It seems to work for Apple.
post #21 of 21
The ridiculous reason for the high usage with 4s is that the s/w is coded to make the phone revert to 3G when idle EVEN if you never leave the Wifi signal you were on. This means in your office all day or at night while sleeping, the phone is downloading data for various apps while idle using 3G. (You can see this when you hit the Home button to wake it up, the phone shows 3g briefly and then a wifi signal if available.)

This is simply dispicable behavior by ATT. I just had a long chat with 2 different technical groups at ATT who confirmed this and they tried to spin it as a benefit when I pointed out that this was not not right and not the case with my previous 3Gs phone "I can't speak the the 3Gs operating system but that this is a feature programmed into the software. I see it as a benefit that you are never without data access as the phone is programmed however do understand it could cause data charges."

Why do you need data access when the phone is idle? And even if you want it, why can't the s/w just use the Wifi signal it was using before it went idle!? It's so ATT can charge you double what it was charging with previous phones.

I cannot believe the FCC has not looked into this unscrupulous practice.
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