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iPhone 5S users gobble up the most data, says study

iPhone and iPad owners in general chew up the most data, but Samsung device owners also get their fill, according to a report from JDSU.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
iPhone 5S owners like data.
Apple's iPhone 5S likes data. Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 5S owners are the data-hungriest of all mobile device users, says a report released Thursday by JDSU.

Users of the 5S slurp up seven times more data over the study's benchmark iPhone 3G in developed markets and 20 times more data in developing markets. Apple smartphones and tablets accounted for six of the top 10 most gluttonous devices with the inclusion of the iPhone 5C, 5, and 4S and the iPad 3 and 4.

"Each new generation of iPhone has resulted in increases in data consumption of between 20-40 percent -- even today when data use is common," Michael Flanagan, a JDSU executive and author of the report, said in a statement. "Though interestingly, users of the more economically-priced iPhone 5c consume data in the range between that of the iPhone 4s and 5 users."

Other devices that hit the list for heaviest downloads in developed regions were the HTC Sensation, Sony's Xperia SP, and Samsung's Galaxy S4 and S2. Among developing markets, Samsung sliced up four spots with its Galaxy S4 and S3, Note 2, and 7-inch Tab 2.


Overall, 4G users were hungrier than their 3G counterparts. A mere 0.1 percent of 4G users gobble up more than half of the entire LTE downlink data, according to the study. In contrast, 1 percent of 3G users consume half of the downlink data.

"The faster the speeds that mobile operators provide, the more consumers swallow it up and demand more," Flanagan said. "One would expect a honeymoon period in which early adopters test their toys. But for 4G users to consistently exhibit behavior 10 times more extreme than 3G users well after launch constitutes a seismic shift in the data landscape."

Milpitas, Calif.-based JDSU develops products used to build and optimize high-speed networks.

The study measured the data consumed by more than 1 million people over a single 24-hour weekday in a developed market and the same number over the same period of time in a developing market. About 1,500 different mobile devices were included, with the focus on devices owned by at least 1,000 people among the 1 million.

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