It seems amount of 3G data downloaded by smartphones doesn’t just depend on the user, but the type of smartphone itself.
A recent survey by network management company Arieso monitored the mobile data of 1.1 million users of smartphones and other mobile internet devices (such as 3G USB modems) across the US, Europe and Africa.
The results showed that 1% of the monitored users were responsible for 50% of all data downloaded in the 24-hour period and that iPhone 4S users downloaded more data that owners of any other smartphone.
In fact the iPhone 4S used twice as much data as the previous iPhone 4 and three times as the two-year old iPhone 3G.
The survey’s main function was to highlight the problems faced by mobile network operators as the popularity of mobile internet access increases, but it also shows that the more capable a smartphone is, the more likely it is to be used for internet-related functions.
The iPhone 4S, for example, relies upon internet access for its Siri voice-control feature — something that isn’t available on earlier models.
Other iPhones can use the Apple’s latest iOS 5 software that brings such features as contact and calendar synchronisation across the internet, as well as online music playback via iTunes Match, but this requires a manual upgrade by the user.
The iPhone 4S, on the other hand, comes with the software preinstalled and so these features are available for use straight from the box.
New smartphones also tend to be faster than older models and so are perhaps more likely to be used more frequently. Or it could just be that owners of the latest gadgets are more inclined to use their new toys more often, while older devices tend to fall out of favour.
The ultimate message, however, is that unless mobile operators invest in expanding their networks, mobile internet use could well get slower as mobile internet technology gets faster.