A new industry study has shown that, on average, the iPhone 4S uses more than double of the amount of data than any previous iPhone models, and that the data consumption is primarily related to the use of Siri (via Reuters). The killer new feature on the iPhone 4S is apparently responsible for the sharp increase in data usage over the iPhone 4 primarily due to the exchange of data with Apple’s own servers required for Siri functionality.
A big concern of carriers for coming years, is that data consumption is only going to increase at a high rate, through the adoption of data-hungry smartphones by consumers and due to the roll-out of faster 4G LTE networks, enabling more data usage in a shorter time. Carriers are frantically trying to upgrade their networks in order to keep up with data usage, and it often leaves one wondering whether it will reach a critical mass in terms of network slowdown
Certainly, tempering the amount of data that smartphone users consume by placing arbitrary limits on data usage can help to minimize the network overload problem. However, what is clear is that carriers need to constantly monitor the problem as, in the example of Siri on the 4S, increasing smartphone technology and complexity means that data usage for one iPhone model is clearly not the same as another, and yet, they may still be subject to the same data restrictions.