Study identifies Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 users as biggest data hogs

Users of both devices consume more cellular data than tablet users

Apple iPhone 5 users consume the most cellular data, while owners of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S III upload more data than any other smartphone, according to a survey conducted by Arieso.

Growing data volumes continue to challenge operators, according to Arieso.

"While some people say that [data growth] is slowing down or isn't much of an issue I don't see that on the front lines," Arieso's CTO Michael Flanagan said.

The Arieso survey doesn't specify how much data smartphones and tablets consume. Instead it sets iPhone 3G users as a benchmark to compare users of all other devices.

Users of the iPhone 5 download more data than users of any other smartphone, and more than four times the amount of iPhone 3G users.

"This is effectively the continuation of a kind of Moore's law where every new generation of the iPhone consumes 50 or 60 percent more data than the previous one," Flanagan said.

In general, users are becoming more tech-savvy, and want to do more with their smartphones, which drives data usage. In the case of the iPhone 5, a bigger screen with room for more icons has helped increase data usage, according to Flanagan.

Users of the HTC Sensation XL are the second most data-hungry, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S III, which both consume about three times as much data as users of the iPhone 3G.

Users of the iPhone 5 may lead in downloads, but users of Samsung Galaxy S III upload nearly four times as much data as iPhone 3G users. Users of the Galaxy Note II come in second place followed by the iPhone 5, at 3.7 and 3.4 times as much upload data, respectively.

"There are features in the Galaxy S III that makes sharing information a little more seamless," Flanagan said.

The Galaxy Note II has the same usage patterns as a regular smartphone, as opposed to a tablet. The device sits between smartphones and tablets with its 5.5-inch screen.

The three tablets included in the survey -- the iPad, iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 -- are big data users, but they can't keep up with the most data-hungry smartphones as they rely more on Wi-Fi and are held back by stingy data plans, according to Flanagan.

When it comes to data usage, Apple's and Samsung's roles are reversed. Users of the Samsung tablet download more data and owners of the iPad 2 upload more.

The Arieso survey was conducted in a European mobile network during the course of 24 hours. Each device included in the survey had a least 1,000 users, according to Arieso.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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