surprise here: Mobile data usage is still on the rise, jumping by an average of
89 percent per user compared to last year.
Nielsen has released a
new report that characterizes what it calls the "Mobile Data
Tsunami." In its monthly analysis of 65,000 mobile lines, Nielsen found
that smartphone owners — particularly Android and iPhone users — consume more
data than ever before.
Android users consume the most (582MB per month on average), with iPhone users
close behind (492MB). Android users’ data consumption has been duly
noted by Nielsen and others
in the past.
The increased usage translates to even greater numbers than would appear,
thanks to smartphone users now accounting for 37 percent of all mobile
subscribers in the U.S. (That number is predicted to swell above 50 percent by
Another point of interest in the new results is that the average cost per
megabyte of data has dropped from 14 cents to just 8 cents, because, as users
have consumed more data, the cost of it has held relatively steady. This might
change soon, though, with unlimited data plans quickly
becoming a thing of the past.
And while the average smartphone user consumes 89 percent more data than during
the same period last year, data usage among the top 10 percent of smartphone
owners increased by 109 percent (the top 1 percent rose 144 percent).
"Growth in smartphone data usage is clearly
being driven by app-friendly operating systems like Apple’s iOS and Google’s
Android," Nielsen writes. "Also of note, Windows Phone 7 users
doubled their usage over the past two quarters, perhaps due to growth in the number
of applications available.”