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Data Usage Chart from Validas  (Source: Consumer Reports)
Biggest iPhone users use over 1GB monthly

Apple struck a chord with competitors and consumers alike when it launched the first iPhone. The device wasn't perfect, but it sold in droves and each successive version of the iPhone has sold exceptionally well. The device is one of the most popular smartphones on the American market, despite only having one carrier.

The popularity of the iPhone and the tendency of customers to actually use the smartphone for its intended purpose means that owners tend to consumer more data bandwidth than users of other devices. In fact, AT&T has threatened in the past to charge iPhone users who consume more data than it thinks they should more money, despite the fact that iPhone data plans are said to be unlimited.

AT&T may blame the huge number of iPhones that it sells for its data woes, but the company recognizes how important the iPhone is to its bottom line. The company has pledged to improve its network and in Q1 Apple reported sales of the iPhone doubled so the number of iPhones on the AT&T network will only increase.

Consumer Reports has published the results of research that it commissioned from a company called Validas. Validas is a web firm that analyses the bills of wireless users that the customers willingly upload and the data is used for research when the providers won’t give first party numbers.

According to the data Validas provided 
Consumer Reports, the average iPhone user consumes 273MB of data per month. By comparison, the average Blackberry user only consumes 54MB of data each month. Users of other smartphones consume an average of 150MB per month. The data also showed that 12% of iPhone users gobble up 500MB per month of bandwidth and the biggest consumers of bandwidth using the iPhone use over 1GB of data per month.

Consumer Reports reached out to AT&T for first-party numbers and were turned down. An AT&T spokesperson said, "For competitive reasons, we do not disclose the usage of our iPhone customers."

The data analyzed by Validas included 757 iPhone users, 783 Blackberry users, and in total looked at 14,000 wireless users.



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By therealnickdanger on 2/11/2010 10:32:14 AM , Rating: 4
I'm with Sprint and my usage with my HTC Touch Diamond last month (according to my bill) was:

4,332,544 KB

I've rarely hit the 5GB/mo limit ("unlimited" my arse!), but if my phone were faster (HTC Hero), I'm sure I could do it with great regularity.




By cwilson on 2/11/2010 11:37:54 AM , Rating: 3
T-Mobile here, last month with my G1 I used a little over 2GB. I just moved over to the Nexus One so maybe I can take a crack at 3GB of data usage this month. Seems to me an average use of 273MB is really not that much at all. I recall using more than that with my T-Mobile Wing on the EDGE network a few years ago.


By seamonkey79 on 2/11/2010 2:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
9 days into my billing on my Droid Eris, already at 212MB... this does seem a little low, as I don't have my phone out nearly as often as I see other people playing with their assorted smartphones... I guess there must be lots of people out there that bought these things because they were cool, but don't use them to full potential.


By uglyone888 on 2/11/2010 5:11:28 PM , Rating: 3
I'm using my HTC Touch Pro 2 with Windows Mobile on the Sprint network and I use a consistent 2GB of data per month. Was WinMo not included in this survey? Because all the people I know use their phone's internet constantly, and they tether frequently and I'm sure if they were included in the survey, they would easily use more data than iPhone and Blackberry users


By golfjam on 2/12/2010 9:03:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'm on the same boat. Upgraded my G1 for a N1 and use over 2Gb every month. I tether almost every day and get 1.5M speed up/down most of the time in Los Angeles, CA. I used to be careful about my data usage but I don't monitor anymore. T-Mobile even lowered my bill last year w/ their Loyalty plan.


"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook














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