iPhone Owners Use More Bandwidth Than Android

iPhone Owners Use More Bandwidth Than Android

We often focus on the amount of data you get included with mobile phone plans, but do users of some platforms consume more data than others? A study by research firm Analysys Mason suggests the answer is “yes”, but that even those users don’t need more than 1GB a month.

Picture by Oli Scarf/Getty Images

The research, based on analysis on 1,000 users in the US and Europe, actually makes it clear that data usage falls into two categories: typical users (who probably don’t need a large data allowance) and heavy users (who certainly do). Amongst those who fall into the top 10 per cent of data usage, 80 per cent use an iPhone. That pattern is also evident amongst less heavy users: in the top 30 per cent, iPhone users outnumbered the next most common device (HTC Android phones) by a factor of three to one.

What’s more immediately useful is that even the highest-level users don’t consume truly massive amounts of data. The top-ranked users had an average consumption of 807MB of 3G data, while the median figure was 221MB a month. The lesson? Unless you’re using your phone to tether, a 1GB plan will probably be sufficient.

Analysys Mason


  • my theory, is that most android users, dont even know they have a “smart phone”… they went on a cheap phone contract, and got the phone that came with the contract…. not realizing their phones can do as much as (arguably more) an iphone

    • i was gonna argue that its not “most android users” that dont know they have a smart phone just a larger percentage the ios users, but in this 1000 people it does seem to be the case so meh to that arguement lol

  • That explains why all my iPhone friends have their face in their phone on our Friday pub lunches instead of socialising like human beings 🙂

  • “iPhone users outnumbered the next most common device (HTC Android phones) by a factor of three to one”

    Does this mean Android phones are broken down by manufacturer? … meaning that the article title is completely misleading?

    • I think you’re right. If you go to the article from Analysys Mason, they never compare operating systems, they seem to be comparing smartphone brands, i.e. iPhone and HTC, and then only the HTC phones using Android and not considering the ones using windows. The figures dont gel for iOS vs Android.

      Me thinks this article is link bait.

  • im sure theres a fan boy argument in here somewhere about how android is more data conscious and optimised to use less (which could even be true gasp, im sure there a study somewhere on this)

    but non fanboyish apples ecosystem regarding music and other such download using services is much more widely used then anyone else’s so its not surprising that out of the pool of users each has that more of apples use things like music download services and such (i hope that made sense)

    id also agree on not needing huge 3g data allocations in most cases, those that are going to be heavy internet users are most likely going to be wifi enabled almost anywhere they go and just need 3g to cover arse whilst out n about, i know this coz its me, when i got my latest contract i was kool with paying $10 more then i planned to get the phone i wanted because the contract level also included more data which i was convinced id use, since ive had the phone its almost always on wifi and my 3g use has been on average below 500mb usually by alot

  • Huh? I think this article is misleading. It seems to imply iPhones use more bandwidth than an Android phone for the *same* downloads. Maybe it’s that iPhones are addictive, fun, useful and give users easy access to online materials, so they actually *use* it more.

  • I’m not buying this “1GB is enough” line. If the figure is correct it is only because high-limit plans are so expensive in Australia that most people use data sparingly and switch to wi-fi whenever they can. People would use more if they could. I recently moved to Hong Kong, where unlimited data plans are cheap, and when I don’t have to worry about data usage I find I use 6-8GB per month on my Android tablet. There are quite a lot of large games out there now, cloud services are becoming much more popular, I get all my newspapers and magazines on the tablet, plus a fair bit of streaming video.

  • Telling us how much data we need, based on US numbers, is completely pointless. Free Wifi is MUCH more common over there, drastically lowering average usage. Even without tethering I rarely stay under a GB, with tethering I come close to my 2.5GB

  • Personally, I’m an iPhone user on a 2GB plan and I’m running pretty close to using 80% of that per month. I’ll happily add that to date I haven’t dropped my phone down the toilet either – or come close to it lol

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