• Average iPhone User Consumes 273MB of Data Monthly

    Consumer Reports published an analysis of the wireless bills of 100,000 customers and found that that the average iPhone owner uses almost twice as much data as users of most other smartphones, and five times the average amount used by Blackberry owners. And a small proportion of iPhone users upload and download three or more times what the average iPhone owner uses, with one in twenty-five using upwards of a gigabyte per month.

    Validas is a research firm that analyzes the bills of wireless users for errors, helps resolve disputes, and saves money for consumers and businesses. According to the data Validas provided to Consumer Reports, the average iPhone user consumes 273MB of data per month. In comparison, Blackberry uses consume an average of 54MB of data each month. Users of other (non-Blackberry, non-iPhone) smartphones consume an average of 150MB per month. The data also revealed that 12% of iPhone users upload and download 500MB per month, with a third of those - or four percent - using over 1GB of data per month.

    Interestingly enough, this result tracks pretty well with a comment by AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega in December. Speaking to investors at a UBS conference in New York, de la Vega said that 3% of its smartphone customers were consuming 40 percent of their network capacity. He added that AT&T would give its customers incentives to "reduce or modify their usage," which many interpreted as an indication that the company would impose a tiered pricing plan. De la Vega indicated that the first step would be to make it easier for customers to monitor their data usage so that they could "understand what represents a megabyte of data."

    Consumer Reports had approached AT&T for information on iPhone data use but was turned down, with a company spokesman saying that “for competitive reasons, we do not disclose the usage of our iPhone customers." So the magazine went to Validas, which has access to 100,000 wireless bills from individual customers and businesses who voluntarily upload their electronic bills forcost-cutting recommendations. For this study, Validas analyzed data usage on nearly 14,000 individual consumer wireless accounts, including 757 iPhone and 783 Blackberry customers.
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