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

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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.

    Article Link: Study Finds Wireless Data Consumption of iPhone 4S Doubled from iPhone 4
  2. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
  3. wwchris macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    iTunes Match

    ITunes match is where all the additional usage is coming from.
  4. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    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!
  5. thekeyring macrumors 68030

    Jan 5, 2012
    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.
  6. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    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.
  7. blue22 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2010
    the pied pipper...

    Siri... why art thou's data plan so costly???
  8. charlesbobby macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2012
    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.
  9. room237 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Queens, NYC
    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.
  10. cvaldes macrumors 68040

    Dec 14, 2006
    somewhere else
    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."
  11. eenuuk macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2011
    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 :)
  12. kskill macrumors member


    Jan 17, 2006
    new york, ny
    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.
  13. skier777 macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2010
    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.
  14. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    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?
  15. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    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.
  16. blue22 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2010
    heh, more likely from my Siri: "Why did you decide to go with Sprint?!"

  17. coder12 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2010
    I've only used 250mb and it's been 4 weeks with constant siri usage. She's not the culprit.
  18. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    Aug 15, 2009
    Mokena, IL
    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.
  19. blue22 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2010
    you gotta be assertive with these telecom reps...

    Good for you!!!
  20. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    So iCloud automatically backing up and Siri are nothing to do with it then? :rolleyes:
  21. iBalls macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2012
    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
  22. Reach macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2006
    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.
  23. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Thanks for the intellectually stimulating post.

    I'm sure the network carriers saw this coming when they decided on the 2GB cap.
  24. cvaldes macrumors 68040

    Dec 14, 2006
    somewhere else
    iCloud Backup occurs over WiFi only, not 3G cellular data connections.

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