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MacRumors
Jan 6, 2012, 11:03 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/06/study-finds-wireless-data-consumption-of-iphone-4s-doubled-from-iphone-4/)


Reuters reports (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/06/mobile-data-idINDEE80500A20120106) on a new study (http://www.arieso.com/news-article.html?id=89) 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 (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/02/siris-impact-on-data-usage-examined/) 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.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/10/iphone_4s_siri.jpg


As noted by ZDNet (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/iphone-4s-doubles-data-usage-but-is-siri-really-to-blame/17605), 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.

Article Link: Study Finds Wireless Data Consumption of iPhone 4S Doubled from iPhone 4 (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/06/study-finds-wireless-data-consumption-of-iphone-4s-doubled-from-iphone-4/)



SFStateStudent
Jan 6, 2012, 11:08 AM
Thankful for UNLIMITED DATA...:cool:

wwchris
Jan 6, 2012, 11:09 AM
ITunes match is where all the additional usage is coming from.

Irock619
Jan 6, 2012, 11:14 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

15 queries a day! Good lord! I use siri maybe once a week lol!

thekeyring
Jan 6, 2012, 11:18 AM
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.

Amazing Iceman
Jan 6, 2012, 11:19 AM
ITunes match is where all the additional usage is coming from.

Or iCloud, perhaps? Actually, doesn't iCloud is supposed to sync only throu WiFi?

I think the report is not objective if it only says "twice as much".
For example, if I used 2GB month on my iPhone 4 (due to Dropbox, Netflix, etc.), why should it double on the iPhone 4s just by using SIRI?
It should show data values for both devices to make any sense. Generic claims are pointless, only good to cause alarm.

blue22
Jan 6, 2012, 11:19 AM
Siri... why art thou's data plan so costly???

charlesbobby
Jan 6, 2012, 11:35 AM
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.

room237
Jan 6, 2012, 11:36 AM
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.

cvaldes
Jan 6, 2012, 11:46 AM
Or iCloud, perhaps? Actually, doesn't iCloud is supposed to sync only throu WiFi?
Different content will sync with iCloud via WiFi and/or cellular data.

Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Bookmarks, Notes and Find My iPhone/iPad will all sync with iCloud via cellular data as well as WiFi.

Photo Stream only syncs to iCloud over WiFi.

Documents & Data will sync with iCloud over cellular data and WiFi although you have the option to turn the former off in the iCloud settings.

iCloud Backup only occurs over WiFi.

Concerning the store, automatic downloads of new purchases (Music, Apps, Books) can occur either over WiFi or cellular data; you have the option of turning off automatic downloads as well as the use of cellular data.

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Siri... why art thou's data plan so costly???
Siri's response: "Sorry, Apple doesn't control what your mobile operator charges for cellular data. Please contact your carrier's customer support."

eenuuk
Jan 6, 2012, 11:47 AM
Or maybe this explains the battery problems.... Maybe it is a software issue constantly pinging different servers sending or receiving data etc.....

Wait for the negs to roll in :)

kskill
Jan 6, 2012, 12:01 PM
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.

skier777
Jan 6, 2012, 12:07 PM
Couldn't this just be explained by knowing that power users are more likely to upgrade so its that the people with the new version use the phone twice as much.

Also iCloud.

Amazing Iceman
Jan 6, 2012, 12:19 PM
Different content will sync with iCloud via WiFi and/or cellular data.

Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Bookmarks, Notes and Find My iPhone/iPad will all sync with iCloud via cellular data as well as WiFi.

Photo Stream only syncs to iCloud over WiFi.

Documents & Data will sync with iCloud over cellular data and WiFi although you have the option to turn the former off in the iCloud settings.

iCloud Backup only occurs over WiFi.

Concerning the store, automatic downloads of new purchases (Music, Apps, Books) can occur either over WiFi or cellular data; you have the option of turning off automatic downloads as well as the use of cellular data.

----------


Siri's response: "Sorry, Apple doesn't control what your mobile operator charges for cellular data. Please contact your carrier's customer support."

Then its all a matter of comparing which services are being used more often by the user than when he had the iPhone 4.

The other factor to consider would be iOS 5 vs iOS 4 data usage. Maybe that's where the data difference is. The iPhone 4s came about the same time as iOS 5 came out, right?

longofest
Jan 6, 2012, 12:20 PM
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.

I agree. My wife has upgraded to an iPhone 4S (from an iPhone 3G no less) and still uses comfortably under 200 MB per month. Her last month's usage was 100MB, and that's right about what it was with her 3G.

blue22
Jan 6, 2012, 12:25 PM
Siri... why art thou's data plan so costly??? Siri's response: "Sorry, Apple doesn't control what your mobile operator charges for cellular data. Please contact your carrier's customer support."

heh, more likely from my Siri: "Why did you decide to go with Sprint?!"

;)

coder12
Jan 6, 2012, 12:33 PM
I've only used 250mb and it's been 4 weeks with constant siri usage. She's not the culprit.

TonyC28
Jan 6, 2012, 12:35 PM
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.

blue22
Jan 6, 2012, 12:55 PM
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.

Good for you!!!

rmwebs
Jan 6, 2012, 01:03 PM
ITunes match is where all the additional usage is coming from.

So iCloud automatically backing up and Siri are nothing to do with it then? :rolleyes:

iBalls
Jan 6, 2012, 01:55 PM
I have got over my limit for the first time ever now I have the 4s, O2 said that my phone is downloading stuff 24 hours a day most of the time, they said its possibly apples software, just advised me to make sure all apps are closed after use.
Onavo shows 90% of my data if from video/photos, strange cos I never download photos or videos.

I have everything I can think off turned off e.g icloud, auto sync, and never use Siri

pullfocus
Jan 6, 2012, 02:04 PM
Duh.

Reach
Jan 6, 2012, 02:14 PM
Well, they force people to use 3G, so it makes sense I guess. Many (me included) would usually keep 3g off and limit the surfing on the iPhone - with 3G always on, it's fast and nice, so I use it. :D

I still would like to be able to turn it off if it improves battery life (as I thought it did), but battery life is ok now, so I'm not really complaining.

vincenz
Jan 6, 2012, 02:23 PM
Duh.

Thanks for the intellectually stimulating post.


I'm sure the network carriers saw this coming when they decided on the 2GB cap.

cvaldes
Jan 6, 2012, 02:41 PM
So iCloud automatically backing up and Siri are nothing to do with it then? :rolleyes:
iCloud Backup occurs over WiFi only, not 3G cellular data connections.

pullfocus
Jan 6, 2012, 02:55 PM
Thanks for the intellectually stimulating post.


I'm sure the network carriers saw this coming when they decided on the 2GB cap.In repsonse to "Hey. More data heavy devices use more bandwidth," I think it's brilliant.

Black107
Jan 6, 2012, 02:58 PM
I'd be willing to bet it has more to do with ALL 4S's being on iOS5 and thus, use iMessages. iMessages burn through data like no ones business, especially if you're attaching pics/videos.

wwchris
Jan 6, 2012, 03:34 PM
iCloud Backup occurs over WiFi only, not 3G cellular data connections.

What he said.

iTunes match is constantly comparing playlists when you make changes on any device. It downloads cover art and of course, you can download matched songs without even thinking about it if it is part of a playlist you don't have downloaded, it will just keeping going through the songs and downloading them as long as you are listening. Also, when you first turn on iTunes Match, it has to match your playlists to the one in the cloud from your PC. In my experience, that took a few hours and it continued over 3G making changes.

If you have iTunes match, every time you open the "Music" app, watch how long your data wheel spins for while it synchs. I have never used over 600 Mg, and I went over my 2 gig cap this month. I'm sure Siri and things like pages/numbers backup have something to do with it, but i am convinced that iTunes match is the main culprit. :-)

rmwebs
Jan 6, 2012, 03:38 PM
iCloud Backup occurs over WiFi only, not 3G cellular data connections.

Fair enough, my mistake. Must be down to Siri and iMessage then - theres not much else that could be causing it.

stridemat
Jan 6, 2012, 03:40 PM
I'd be willing to bet it has more to do with ALL 4S's being on iOS5 and thus, use iMessages. iMessages burn through data like no ones business, especially if you're attaching pics/videos.

I agree that sending more pictures would increase the bandwidth used, however sending a standard iMessage would have such a negligible affect on your data allowance.

mkrishnan
Jan 6, 2012, 03:41 PM
Fair enough, my mistake. Must be down to Siri and iMessage then - theres not much else that could be causing it.

Again, there are the behavioral explanations, like my HSPA+ data is faster (on AT&T at least), and so I do more surfing because it's less painful. OTOH my data consumption 3GS vs. 4S has not changed that much.

cvaldes
Jan 6, 2012, 04:25 PM
Fair enough, my mistake. Must be down to Siri and iMessage then - theres not much else that could be causing it.
iMessage really shouldn't be a major factor since it is available on any device running iOS 5, including WiFi only devices such as iPod touches and the non-3G iPads. Apparently, iMessage is automatically doing lossy image and video compression, with more compression (smaller files) when the sender is connected via cellular data rather than WiFi.

The two really unique features in the iPhone 4S are the higher resolution camera (thus larger photos and videos) and Siri.

As the original post states, even high-volume Siri users shouldn't be using adding a huge amount of monthly data use, maybe 30MB per month if all queries were executed over a cellular data connection per the ArsTechnica study.

The camera hardware differences are more substantial. The iPhone 4 has a 5-megapixel camera whereas the iPhone 4S has an 8-megapixel camera, a roughly 60% increase in still image data. More importantly, HD video recording has gone from 720p at 30fps on the older handset to 1080p at 30fps on the iPhone 4S which is something like 125% more pixels per frame.

bassfingers
Jan 6, 2012, 06:17 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

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.

This. iPhone lovers/heavy users upgrade

rquick
Jan 6, 2012, 09:34 PM
My data usage quadrupled with the upgrade from a 4 to a 4s. As far as I know, my actual demand for data has not changed at all. I have a had each model of the iPhone and I can assure you there is no "new toy" syndrome. I don't use Siri since it seldom works. I don't do iTunes match or sync to the cloud. I have most of the location services turned off. As far as I can tell, I am doing nothing different from before. I am just glad I didn't give up my unlimited data plan as I was considering downgrading to the 200mb plan. I spend most of my time on wifi and have been using 50 to 60 mb monthly - 100 tops - so I didn't really need the unlimited plan. Now I have had 2 consecutive months of 260 mb or more with no increase in my demand. I have noticed that sometimes it gets hot all on its own. This might sound weird, but I wonder if the phone is using data for some reason of its own.

minik
Jan 6, 2012, 10:24 PM
I got my unlocked iPhone 4S a couple days before Thanksgiving and my billing cycle started the 2nd of every month.

To be honest, I rarely turn on Wi-Fi even on my iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4. With all the speediest, the network speed on my iPhone 4S is on-par or even faster than my home DSL connection.

However, I received 'High Data Usage Alert' messages from AT&T that I was within their top 5% heavy data user. For now, I'm using Wi-Fi as much as possible.

I do have iTunes Match/Spotify/XM subscription.

bushido
Jan 7, 2012, 10:19 AM
"doubled" what "doubled" how does it "double" doubled can be anything and if u used 2 GB on your 4 before i doubt u'll suddenly use 4 GB on a 4S. maybe if u used 100 mb before it "doubled" to 200 mb but why is another question.

iMessage can't be blamed as the 4 can use that just as well and there's been WhatsApp for years.

I got my unlocked iPhone 4S a couple days before Thanksgiving and my billing cycle started the 2nd of every month.

To be honest, I rarely turn on Wi-Fi even on my iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4. With all the speediest, the network speed on my iPhone 4S is on-par or even faster than my home DSL connection.

However, I received 'High Data Usage Alert' messages from AT&T that I was within their top 5% heavy data user. For now, I'm using Wi-Fi as much as possible.

I do have iTunes Match/Spotify/XM subscription.

11 GB ??? OMG thats more than i use in a year on my iPhone

retry4
Jan 7, 2012, 10:45 AM
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.

Couldn't have said it better.

pmz
Jan 7, 2012, 01:54 PM
Thankful for UNLIMITED DATA...:cool:

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?!~

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11 GB ??? OMG thats more than i use in a year on my iPhone

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

justinfreid
Jan 7, 2012, 03:40 PM
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.

I agree, using Safari on the 4S vs. the 4 approaches desktop speed (well a slow desktop) for browsing. I yank in more MBs since during the same period of time I don't have to wait a long for them to be rendered in my hand.

bushido
Jan 7, 2012, 06:12 PM
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?!~

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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

minik
Jan 7, 2012, 06:46 PM
"doubled" what "doubled" how does it "double" doubled can be anything and if u used 2 GB on your 4 before i doubt u'll suddenly use 4 GB on a 4S. maybe if u used 100 mb before it "doubled" to 200 mb but why is another question.

iMessage can't be blamed as the 4 can use that just as well and there's been WhatsApp for years.



11 GB ??? OMG thats more than i use in a year on my iPhone

Using a desktop for 8 hours at work, I don't see the incentive to turn on my Mac after work. I sold my iMac in 2010 and got myself a MBA (light and small footprint) and Mac mini server (mostly for storage). The iPhone is now my primary device to the Internet and the AT&T HSPA+ network is quite fast IMHO.

I work at IT and coworkers think I'm mental for my computer usage. :rolleyes:

d0nK
Jan 7, 2012, 11:40 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A405)

Ever since iCloud and iTunes Match I must have increased my data usage 5 fold.
I use an iPhone 4.

With 1000 photo's and 4000 unmatched mp3's floating between my iPhone 4 and my laptop, it's not surprising.
The only surprising thing is that anyone could think that this is down to the difference between the iPhone 4s and the iPhone 4, lol.

ipad2forlife
Jan 8, 2012, 09:16 PM
that's why they invented unlimited data plans :D

michaelsviews
Jan 9, 2012, 05:42 AM
Oh yea data usage is way up for me since I upgraded from the 3GS to the 4GS and now I get notices from AT&T that I am in the top 5% of the data usage, hmmm watching youtube and netflix is really pushing there data limit's. There lucky because if I had unlimited on the ipad I'd be getting 2 notices a month.

Amazing how on a totally clear day no clouds the bars go from 5 to 3 and I'm next to there tower. :confused::(

The local stores answer is , its the iPhone talk to apple our network is fantastic and great.:eek:

Funerall
Jan 9, 2012, 10:05 AM
iCloud? Photo streaming? Faster internet?

Many people blame Siri for this but there are great differences between iOS 4.x and iOS 5. Probably they compared iOS 5 and iOS 4 (which doesn't have iCloud feature etc.)

Another nonsense comparison...

BiggAW
Jan 9, 2012, 03:14 PM
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.

Yes!

SKTHEPREZ
Jan 9, 2012, 06:54 PM
Thank God For Grandfathered plans! Unlimited with ATT since iPhone 3G-S launched in 2009. :D:apple::D

codyc1515
Jan 12, 2012, 08:38 PM
Of course the usage of the 4S compared with the 4 is going to be twice as much: the 3G speeds on the chip in the 4S are twice that of the 4!

;)

BiggAW
Jan 12, 2012, 09:08 PM
Of course the usage of the 4S compared with the 4 is going to be twice as much: the 3G speeds on the chip in the 4S are twice that of the 4!

;)

Yeah right.