Smartphone users are consuming more data that tablet owners for the first time, with Apple products the most data hungry.
New analysis into data use by Arieso revealed iPhone 5 users are consuming 50% more data than owners of the iPhone 4S, 2012's most data demanding device. Owners of the latest Apple smartphone also consume four times as much data as the iPhone 3G.
However, owners of Samsung devices appear to be using their smartphones more for social networking. Samsung Galaxy S III owners upload nearly four times as much data, photos or videos for example, than iPhone 3G users, with the Samsung Galaxy Note II in second place and the iPhone 5 in third.
Out of the top 10 devices globally, smartphones accounted for six, tablets for three and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as the only phablet. Arieso chief technical officer Michael Flanagan said: 'This is pretty counter intuitive, but it seems the capabilities of the newest smartphones - not tablets - are unleashing even greater user demand. Once you move away from raw consumption statistics, the most remarkable finding is the way in which people use smartphones and tablets. Regardless of device type and operating system, there is very little variation in the usage 'signature' between smartphone users and between tablet users. From this we discover that voice-capable 'phablets' - like the Samsung Galaxy Note II - are currently being used like smartphones, not tablets. If you can use it to make a phone call, the 'phablet' won't be much like a tablet at all.'
The report found next generation networks are starting to take the data strain. Last year, 1% of users consumed half of the downlink data on 3G network. This year, the same amount only consumed 40% on the same networks. Flanagan said: 'The region we studied this year has recently launched LTE, and we're already seeing extreme users - especially those with dongles - starting to flock to 4G. In many respects, this is great news - LTE networks are doing their job. But the consumption levels and patterns of LTE use are very different to what operators could expect from 3G. It's a complex, fluid and increasingly high stakes situation for operators to deal with.'
Author: Graeme Neill