Every year, smartphones get faster, better and smarter as mobile technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace in order to meet consumer demand for a superior mobile computing experience. Of course, as these devices become more capable, they're used more, making mobile data consumption increase.
In fact, according to a recent report from Arieso, smartphones are now consuming more data tablets for the first time ever. Indeed, among the top 10 devices used to consume the most data, six were smartphones and three were tablets with one "phablet" thrown in for good measure.
Out of the 125 devices studied by Arieso, the iPhone 5 was found to be the biggest consumer of data overall, using up to four times the data of the iPhone 3G and 50 percent more than iPhone 4S users. Not to be outdone, the Samsung Galaxy S III, ranked the second-biggest data consumer, also generates almost four times the data of iPhone 3G users, including downloads and uploads. In fact, in terms of sheer uplink data, the Galaxy S III reigns supreme while the iPhone 5 ranked third, behind the Galaxy Note II, which came in third for overall data usage.
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On the tablet side, Samsung and Apple also reigned supreme with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 using 20 percent more data than iPad users.
Meanwhile, data-hungry users are increasingly making the obvious move to 4G LTE networks to support their mobile computing habits. As such, 2012 saw one percent of users consumer 40 percent of downlink data on 3G/UMTS networks, as opposed to the year prior when one percent consumer 50 percent.
"The region we studied this year has recently launched LTE, and we're already seeing extreme users — especially those with dongles — starting to flock to 4G," said study author and Arieso CTO, Dr. Michael Flanagan, in a statement.
While Arieso's data came from an unnamed "tier-one European operator," the firm said its statistics are relevant worldwide as relative consumption for devices remains constant across geographies.
Edited by Brooke Neuman