Despite the restrictions placed on consumers’ data usage, the tiered plans favored by carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have not affected app use.
According to Parks Associates, smartphone owners on such tiered data plans downloaded an average of 17 apps since purchasing their phones, and use an average of seven apps a month. Comparatively, those on unlimited data plans have downloaded an average of 16 apps and use about 6 a month.
“Carriers like Verizon and AT&T are moving subscribers away from unlimited data plans at the same time phones are increasing their capabilities,” said Jennifer Kent, research analyst, Parks Associates in a statement. “The iPhone 5, with its larger screen and LTE upgrade, will encourage people to use more data, but consumers are finding ways to compensate for data limits. Almost 40% of users on tiered data plans use Wi-Fi for mobile Internet access whenever possible, compared to only 22% of consumers on unlimited data plans.”