The average Android phone consumes more data per month than an Apple iPhone or Windows Phone

The average Android phone consumes more data per month than an Apple iPhone or Windows Phone
You guys and gals might remember Ericsson as being Sony's former manufacturing partner in the smartphone business. Before their divorce, the two combined on models like the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, which might get the memory center of your brain flowing. What brings Ericsson to mind is its annual mobile study. This year's release included a chart showing that Android users consume more data on average, than users of other platforms.

The numbers show that Android phones guzzle an average of 2.2GB of data each month. In comparison, the average Apple iPhone consumes 1.7GB of the sweet stuff each month, while the average Windows Phone uses 1.4GB of data. Exactly a week ago, we told you about the predictions for next year made by consultant Chetan Sharma, who pointed out that high-end Android phones in the U.S. average about 4GB of data usage a month.

When you stop to think about it, there are a number of common sense reasons for Android models to eat more data each month. Sharma notes that the larger size of Android screens means that larger files are downloaded with more pixels. What Sharma didn't point out, is that with these lovely HD screens, Android users might also feel more compelled to view a movie or a television show on their device. Thanks to the GDR3 update, this is something that Windows Phone users will start to feel depending on the model they own. Right now, only the Nokia Lumia 1520 has a large screen with a 1080 x 1920 resolution on the platform. The oft-rumored, but never announced Nokia Lumia 929 will also offer 5 inches of FHD goodness for Windows Phone users when and if it is ever released. The last bit of news on that front, suggests a February release for the phone.

But we digress. Another reason for a Android phone to eat more data per month than an iPhone is the former's tendency to be inefficient at running apps, according to Sharma. Handsets running Google's open source OS could have a number of apps running in the background, collecting location data for example. The consultant also notes that because Android users don't (or can't) update their phones as frequently as iOS, updates to data management on newer Android builds do not reach the intended recipient.


source: Ericsson via NYTimes, BGR

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63 Comments

58. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Not surprising, widgets and apps running constantly in the background, even after closing them down.

56. NickSDC

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

I hit 60 gigs last month. I'm at 25 right now, one week into the cycle. Unlimited Verizon ;)

55. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2289; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

If you look at the majority of post that have android phones most to not have home Internet service. That explains why they consume more data. This has nothing to do with an S4 or Note 3 with bigger screen. Plus most use their LTE service over there home Internet service. I have an iPhone 5s and if I used mobile hot spot with my iPads I could easily go over 15 meg per month. So the amount of data that consumers use is based on their behavior and wifi use. Nothing tondo with the phone...lol!!!! I find it hilarious...

53. box14380

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

I use an average of 5GB per month all the way from Saudi Arabia.

52. techloverNYC

Posts: 601; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

Well thas because the average Andriod phone is more useful then your window phone or iphone....

51. loveHEAVYMETAL unregistered

just about 1.5gb-2gb+ in one day :P (sometime only ) because of downloading huge apps,full hd music video... haha~ #DontTryThisAtHome waste money only but average few hundred mb per day

50. anakin

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 31, 2013

Oh just 2-3gb per month, i think thats fortunate enough. Sadly, In my case i have spent approx 21 gb last month. Im new in smartphone, but i didn't expect i will spent gigantous data. Well i download full hd movie just 3-4. But i think that still unrealistic for me, because that movie size just 1gb averagely. I bet unclossed app in task manager is the problem, or maybe i have a lot of app.In this forum, i want to ask to all of you tips to reduce my data consumption. Thx.

49. hellonerds

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

ever since i got my note 3 t-mo im using close to 5GB month on att.. 70+$ month.. unlimited* 5GB data then switched to EDGE speeds :( 200 text 450 mins/ 5000 night and weekend.. yeah iphone 1 data plans still.. cant wait next year for my contract with att to end and go back to t-mo 70$ unlimited everything no caps no throttling.. thats why i bought a note 3 on t-mo and that way i can cancel my home internet

47. ArtZGraphic

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

2-3gb, yeah thats me.

44. rockthepojo2004

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 29, 2013

i use roughly 20 gb a month on my phone , already up to 17 gb this month on usage! Gotta love sprint! No cap and no throttle!

42. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Wait, I thought Fran Shammno, or whatever his stupid name is, said that the "average data user only uses 500 mb a month. And 2gb was reasonable for the average person? Idiot. This just proves that the data caps are currently WAYYYYYYY to low for what you pay.

38. gnotch

Posts: 19; Member since: Dec 31, 2013

Hey guys newbie to the cmnt section but i lurk here all the time reading the articles/cmnts (some of you guys are funny) i am and iphone user but love android phones as well. as an iphone user and i consume about 20-30 gb per month

32. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

You're reading it wrong, I think. The top of each bar represents the maximum average (mean?) use for that OS on a per-network basis. No idea what that means, but the black bar in the middle of each bar is the actual median usage. iPhone networks average more data usage, but Android networks have a greater spread.

30. TBomb

Posts: 1753; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

It could also be the fact that there are more free apps on Android then iOS, and just more apps in general than Windows. People are inclined to try free apps because it's free, so if they don't like it a quick uninstall gets it off the phone without losing money.

28. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1778; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Well duh, who wants to play games or watch movies on a tiny screen when you have a choice?

23. tenzin

Posts: 111; Member since: Dec 20, 2013

Nothing tragic just up to 5Mb as I remember

22. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I thought this was known about Android for a number of years now?

21. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

LOL I just have a 200MB Flatrate...

20. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Its because android users do more than use facebook and download angry birds.

24. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I definitely used my Note 3 more than my old iphone 5s. Just a lot more to do on a larger screen device. I refused to watch Netflix on the 5s because the screen was to small to enjoy.

43. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

What more do they do on their devices, that consumes data, than people on other platforms do❔

17. tedkord

Posts: 17519; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

10gb to 20gb per month. A large majority is Netflix.

27. fur0n

Posts: 82; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

yea, I use about 10-20 as well. for me it is mostly utorrent, and downloading rom updates for CyanogenMod. Also Sprint 4G LTE in my area is about double the speed as the internet connection that I have in my house.

14. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

10. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

I use Waze all the time while driving, so I use a lot of data.

9. Blaw87

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

I still think that number is low, I average double that a day. God bless Grandfathered unlimited I suppose.

33. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

How do you use > 4GB on a phone in a day? Do you torrent while not on wi-fi or something?

45. Blaw87

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

Mobile hotspot is my main source at home for Internet, I get 16 mbps average on LTE where I live via Verizon. I don't see the need for paying $50+ for home Internet. Even without mobile hotspot I use at least a gigabyte a day. Pandora mainly, but various videos, downloads and games as well. The number just seems low. I'm curious what the average is for those of us with unlimited w/o throttling.

8. lonewolf2873

Posts: 40; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

I'm right around 8gb a month. Sporting Note 3 on verizon. There are far too many variables to get an accurate count A vs B vs C. Most android users I know are tech savvy and major power users. While most Apple users I know are very minimal data users. They answer a call or send text with very little Internet usage. That's just from my experience. I'd bet there are people that have complete opposite experience.

18. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

For me its a middle ground. Most people that i know that use droid, have very crappy GB devices that cannot upgrade to JB. They use it as a personal pandora ipod etc. Of course we do know that anything and nearly everything runs in the background on droid and with me working in tech, all day i have turn them off, over and over and over. Most are droids.

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