updated 08:20 pm EST, Thu January 5, 2012
Arieso says Siri, speed surge iPhone 4S data use
The iPhone 4S uses twice as much data as its ancestor, Arieso concluded in a new study. The network data optimizing firm saw double the data use of the iPhone 4 and three times the use of the iPhone 3G. Owners of the newer phone even used more data than iPad 2 owners, who were consuming 2.5 times as much as the 2008-era Apple baseline.
Some of it was considered an organic result of user habits, as people were more often using apps and services. The iPhone 4S' dependence on a network connection for Siri, however, may have been inflating the amount of data beyond what the iPhone 4 did. Although not mentioned, the eight-megapixel camera and its 1080p videos also greatly increase the amount of data used whenever uploading to a destination that can accept the full size.
Tablets would always have high usage, although they were still closer to high-end smartphones than desktops.
Arieso warned of a network crunch, but unlike carriers, focused more on offloading data to local networks than capping or throttling users. Putting more subscribers on femtocells, which create a personal cell site that uses the home Internet connection to actually route calls and data, would take the load off of the main networks and reserve it for those who actually use it.
Researchers didn't directly compare the iPhone 4S against other platforms. Past research has suggested that Android users consume more, and the rise of LTE-equipped Android phones in the US may only exacerbate the demand from carriers.