iphone4 23 iPhone Users are Heaviest Data Users, Unclear Why

A new report on heavy data users shows that iPhone owners account for a vast majority of the heaviest data users, but the data is unclear as to why that is.

According to a new report from the technology research firm Analysys Mason, owners of Apple’s iPhone are more data hungry than users of any other smartphone. iPhone owners now account for 80% of the top 10% of data users, massively eclipsing Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone users combined.

In fact, going as far as the top 30% shows a very Apple-heavy trend, surprising when you consider that Android phones, due to their open platform, allow data to be used far easier and more frequently, or that Apple’s devices are still using 3G networks, meaning that their network connections run slower than the new 4G Android models being offered.

The data was collected using an on-device tracker, installed on over 1,000 devices across the US and Western Europe, that monitors smartphone behavior. Heavy data users, while accounting for a small percentage of the total sample size, tended to use four times as much data on average than normal users. American smartphone owners also tended to use more data than their European counterparts, with an average of 30% of users consuming more than 500MB of data per month, compared to 8-13% for Europe.

It’s not clear what is causing the massive uptick in data usage by iPhone users. While iPhone 4S users are more likely to use more data than earlier models, Siri (available only on the 4S model) cannot account for the massive amount of data, with typical Siri usage being only a few MB per month. It is possible that the data may be skewed, as the sample size is fairly small, given that there are hundreds of millions of smartphone users across the world, but at the moment Analysys Mason is unsure of the cause.

Image credit: zuchronicles