A new report from mobile network monitoring specialists Arieso shows that smartphone users are currently consuming more mobile data than tablet users, despite the growth in tablet sales. Overall, customers with an Apple iPhone 5 were ‘hungriest’ for data.
The full announcement is shown below.
Smartphones Trump Tablets: Latest Arieso analysis of mobile data use reveals new challenges for operators
14 January 2013
- Smartphone users now consistently consume more mobile data than tablet users
- iPhone 5 users are the “hungriest” data consumers, demanding 50% more than iPhone 4S users and four times as much as iPhone 3G users
- 40% of all data is consumed by 1% of users, but LTE starting to take the strain
For the third year running Arieso has unveiled the latest trends in mobile data usage in a new report. Using ariesoGEO to provide insight into the nature of billions of mobile connections, Arieso’s most recent analysis reveals new challenges for the world’s operators from 2013 onwards. Despite a surge in the market for tablets, smartphone users have overtaken tablet users in their thirst for mobile data for the first time. As overall mobile data consumption continues to rocket, driven by new devices and richer content, the study suggests that extreme users are beginning to move to new LTE networks, but there is no let up on existing networks.
“Yet again we found that novel usage patterns, new technologies and regional idiosyncrasies are conspiring to make life increasingly difficult for mobile operators trying to meet evolving customer expectations. The ability to conduct detailed analysis such as this is critical in giving operators a rich source of intelligence to help boost network performance and enrich user experience,” said study author and Arieso CTO, Dr. Michael Flanagan.
Tablets, ‘phablets’ and smartphones
For the first time, smartphone users are consistently consuming more mobile data than tablet users. Out of the top ten most voracious devices (excluding dongles) six were smartphones, three tablets and one a ‘phablet’. Tablet users placed 4th, 8th and 9th.
“This is pretty counterintuitive, 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,” continued Flanagan. “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 ‘i’s still have it: but for how long?
From the 125 devices studied, users of the latest iPhone again proved the most voracious data consumers. But for the first time in three years, this dominance is being challenged.
Users of the iPhone 5 demand four times as much data as iPhone 3G users and 50% more than iPhone 4S users (the most demanding in the 2012 study). However, Samsung Galaxy S III users generate (upload rather than download – photos, videos etc.) nearly four times the amount of data than iPhone 3G users, beating iPhone 5 users into third place on uplink data usage behind the Samsung Galaxy Note II. And in the rapidly growing tablet market, Samsung Tab 2 10.1 users have asserted their dominance - demanding 20% more data than iPad users.