Consumer Reports: Smartphone data users consume far fewer megabytes than expected

As the industry continues to sound the alarm over data-hungry smartphone users, Consumer Reports says many smartphone data users consume far fewer megabytes than expected.

Consumer Reports studied 23,000 consumer mobile-phone bills and found that the average smartphone data use in the February 2010 to February 2011 time period ranged from 274 MB to 449 MB per month, depending on the operator. However, the median smartphone data users consumed dramatically less--48 MB at T-Mobile to 158 MB at Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ).

"These new results confirm what we've previously reported: that Verizon's move to metered data pricing and its minimum smart-phone-data charge of $30 for 2GB per month won't save any new customers a dime, because most smart-phone owners don't use anywhere near 2GB," wrote Consumer Reports' Jeff Blyskal.

Blyskal added that new T-Mobile smartphone users who use only the median amount of data will find the best price at that operator since it charges $10 for 200 MB of data. The median AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) smartphone data user would pay more, $15 for 200 MB, he said. And the median Verizon smartphone customer gets the worst deal, paying $30 for 2 GB.

CarrierAverage smartphone
(MB/month)
Median smartphone
(MB/month)
AT&T 360 120
T-Mobile 274 48
Verizon 449 158

(Source: Validas, Consumer Reports)

For more:
- see this Consumer Reports post

Related articles:
Consumer Reports: Verizon's switch to usage-based data pricing won't result in higher bills for most
Report: Average mobile broadband user to consume several gigabytes per month by 2020
Study: Android phones beat out iPhones in data consumption

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