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iPhone 5, Samsung S III: Big, Big Data Guzzlers

Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the biggest data guzzler of them all?

Then you may be an iPhone 5 or Samsung S III owner.

Yes folks, these babies were found to be the biggest downloaders of Internet data – the new iPhone 5 being the biggest followed closely by Samsung’s S III (who were bigger on the uploads) on networks, according to research from Europe.


Smartphone owners simply are consuming more data on our ever faster smart devices.

The faster A6 chipset and larger 4″ Retina display on the iPhone 5 may influence device usage, notes Dr. Michael Flanagan, author of the Arieso report, which analysed thousands of smartphone user patterns in Europe.

The S III also has a potent quad-core processor and large 4.8″ screen.

The migration of experienced Apple users from earlier iPhones will also result in increased data consumption along with iCloud synchronization.

iPhone 5 users now download four times as much data, or 414%,compared to owners of an iPhone 3G, the benchmark device, and double the data of the iPhone 4S, the biggest data guzzlers last year.

Samsung Galaxy S III users are almost equally as data hungry uploading almost four times, or 385%, the amount of data consumed by iPhone 3G users, while downloads were a bit tamer at 315%. Samsung S II owners were also found to be pretty hungry beasts.

The HTC Sensation XL ‘superphone’ was also found to make the most data connections than users of any other device. Most connections on the XL are due to background signalling, according to the research which warned “large numbers of data connections can sometimes result in “signalling storms” that can impact network operation.”

Most Nokia, Sony (bar the Xperia Arc) and BlackBerrys were pretty tame on data consumption, by comparison to Apples and Samsungs.

So it seems the smarter the phone the bigger the data usage. Trouble is, the bigger the consumption the bigger the bill.

And 4G LTE networks, available on Telstra and now Optus, are exacerbating the problem, says the reports author, who predicts it will only get worse.

Previous research has already shown 4G LTE devices means bigger data bills for users.

“Arieso experience with LTE roll outs to date shows that LTE can be expected to make [subscriber] demand even more extreme than previously seen on UMTS networks,” says Dr Flangan.

“This is because it is consistently the case that greater device capabilities lead to greater consumption.”

But its not just smartphones that are big data guzzlers.

Tablets like iPads and Samsung Tabs are also accused of being data hungry – as are ‘phablets’ (the latest hybrid phone come tab devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note) and 3G dongle owners are actually the single biggest data guzzlers.

Research shows Samsung’s Tab 2 10.1 users demand 20% more data than iPad users. However, tabs come no where near smartphones in terms of Internet consumption.

And, interestingly, data consumption on 3G modems rose a jaw dropping 2439%.

“It is remarkable that the hungriest 1% of all subscribers consume 40% of the downlink data volume” Dr Flangan also noted, and most of the biggest data consumers are using USB dongles or 3G Modems (54%) followed by smartphones (405) with tablets just 6%. 

“The advent of the iPhone in 2007-2008 heralded the start of the “big data” challenge that the wireless industry still works to meet.”