iPhone Users Biggest Data Consumers

Iphone-4S-Smartphone-AiPhone users are the data hogs of the smartphone world. On average, they account for 80% of the top 10% of heaviest data users, according to a new study by U.K.-based technology research firm Analysys Mason.

Furthermore, iPhone owners are three times more likely to be in the top 30% of heaviest data users than the next-most “data-hungry” mobile consumers -- those with HTC phones running Android. The findings were based on tracking of more than 1,000 smartphone users for two months in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Spain using Arbitron Mobile’s on-device monitoring app.

When it comes to apps, people used an average of 32.6 apps during the two-month study period -- of which nearly half (47%) were used only once during that time. Given that nearly 1 million apps are available globally, the small number of apps per user indicates underscores the imbalance between supply and demand. Almost two-thirds (64.3%) of apps tracked during the study had only one user over the two months.

Ronan de Renesse, co-author of the Analysys Mason study, noted that some apps are seasonal or created only for a specific event, so have only a short shelf life.

When comparing mobile operating systems, the report showed that Android and iPhone users used ‘long-tail’ apps (apps that are outside the top 25 by number of users) 10 times more than consumers with BlackBerry or Symbian devices. That could be the result of the App Store and Google Play offering a wider variety of apps and the ability to find less popular apps more easily. Both platforms offer more than 500,000 apps.

In terms of messaging, email and SMS text were each used by virtually everyone in the 1,000-person sample. But the increased use of email relative to SMS raises questions about how viable the latter is as a separate fee-based service, according to the study. A separate, recent report by Strand Consulting asserted the rise of mobile messaging via Facebook is eating into carriers’ SMS revenue globally.

Among other highlights from the Analysys Mason report:

-75% of panelists used Wi-Fi on their smartphone.

-45% of panelists used instant messaging or over-the-top messaging services, almost half of who used WhatsApp Messenger.

-More than 99% of panelists used their mobile browser at least once, for an average of 7.5 minutes per day.

-In the U.S., 30% of consumers used more than 500 megabytes (MB) of cellular data per month, compared with 13% in France and the U.K., and only 8% in Germany.

-All mobile communications apps are used more by women than men, apart from mobile VoIP.

Tags: apps, mobile
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