Average Android, iOS smartphone data use across Tier 1 wireless carriers

How much data does the average smartphone user consume?

It's a critical question for both users and the carriers that provide service--and it's a moving target. As users embrace a widening array of high-powered data services, wireless carriers are concurrently working to increase the data speeds available to their subscribers. The result is a situation where users have more services at their fingertips available at faster speeds.

The question is also relevant at a time when wireless carriers are testing new data billing schemes. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) are working to transition customers onto shared data plans; meanwhile, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA are offering unlimited smartphone data offerings.

With all this in mind, FierceWireless teamed with NPD Connected Intelligence to publish the results of the firm's SmartMeter surveying software. NPD's SmartMeter software is installed on around 1000 smartphones (participants are provided "incentives" to install the software on their phones). NPD for the past several months has tracked cellular data usage on Android phones, but recently added around 100 iPhones to its survey base.

The result is below. The data shows average Android smartphone cellular data use during the past six months, broken down by wireless carrier, and iPhone data use from September:

Solid Lines represent Android data. Dashed Lines with square markers represent iOS/iPhone data.

The raw data:

ANDROID Apr '12 May '12 June '12 Jul '12 Aug '12 Sep '12
Verizon Wireless 0.97 0.79 0.82 0.69 0.70 0.57
T-Mobile 1.23 0.94 0.82 1.03 1.02 1.09
Sprint 1.10 1.38 1.29 1.07 0.98 0.68
AT&T 0.59 0.76 0.88 0.80 0.91 0.89


Apr '12
May '12
June '12
Jul '12
Aug '12
Sep '12
Verizon Wireless           1.58
T-Mobile           0.19
Sprint           0.72
AT&T           1.35

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Average Android, iOS smartphone data use across Tier 1 wireless carriers