iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

Summary: There are other factors at play here.


According to a report by Arieso, an advisory service for mobile operators in the US, Europe and Africa, iPhone 4S users consume nearly twice as much data as iPhone 4 users, and nearly three times as much as the iPhone 3GS users. Is Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant, to blame?

According to Arieso, the answer is yes. But I'm not so convinced.

For starters, Siri's not really that heavy as far as data goes. As testing has shown (and this is backed up by data I've collected from Siri users), doing ten or so queries a day over 30-day period (while out of WiFi coverage, obviously) will consume some 20MB.

Hardly an earth-shattering amount of data.

I think that there are other factors at play here. For example:

  • New toy syndrome - People buy a new toy, they want to play with it.
  • Faster - The 4S is faster than then older handsets thanks to the A5 dual-core CPU. Faster means people get more done. Getting more done when out of WiFi and in 3G coverage means more data usage.
  • Better antenna - More 3G in more places.
  • Higher megapixel camera - more megapixels means that any images sent over 3G will consume more data than the lower-resolution images from the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.
  • iTunes Match - This this is a feature of iOS 5 and not confined to the iPhone 4S, it's a selling point for the 4S, and more consumers might be aware of the fact that they can stream music from the cloud.
  • iCloud - Again, a feature of iOS 5, but it's another selling point of the 4S. Consumer will be more aware of the feature.

So, while Siri is undoubtedly contributing to greater data usage levels, I don't think that we can blame it all on Siri. There are plenty of other features on the 4S and gobble up data.


Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • RE: iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

    Also, the report actually states that 3g modem / dongle usage is way up.

    Fortune have an article up about it.
    • RE: iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

      @john@... I just got my iPhone 4s and I am totally blown away by siri and btw i just won the iphone :)) from here if I remember correctly, getappleproductsforfree(.)com
  • I agree, this can't be Siri's fault

    How many bytes of data could it possibly use up when most of the time, Siri answers with: "Sorry I am having trouble connecting to the network"?
    • A friendly suggestion

      If you are experiencing connection issues, you might want to try coming out of your underground bunker. ;-)

      Seriously, Siri had trouble reaching servers in the first week or so after it came out while everyone was playing with it, but the issue died down almost immediately. Most media coverage ended almost 3 months ago and the latest posting in Apple's discussion forums was the 28th of November.

      Sorry, but once again the most basic Google search again reveals your information is woefully out of date.
      • RE: iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

        @macadam NonZealot made the claim he had an iPhone 4, not an iPhone 4s, so he has never seen Siri in actual use. He has also claimed he was dumping his iPhone for one of those super Microsoft Lumia phones!
  • RE: iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

    hey keep running your data up by asking it how many farts a day do I make.

    woo hoo.
    • RE: iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

      "I'm sorry, you do not have the correct accessory to measure that"
  • Self selecting survey

    Survey is comparing current 3GS, 4 and 4S users. People who use their phones most are most likely to have upgraded to 4S and people who use it infrequently are more likely to still be on the old (or cheap) handset, i.e. the 3GS. I wouldn't be surprised if the average data usage of iPhone 4 users has actually come down since the 4S launch due to the heavy users upgrading.
    • RE: iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

      @mog0 +1
      other *
  • RE: iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

    Siri is just one component. To use the iPhone to the extent advertised, it takes more and more data going both ways. Added to that are the fact that [b]many[/b] more apps are now sending data back to their motherships than ever before, often without informing the user in any way.

    The cellphone companies love it, because they get to charge exorbitant fees to unsuspecting customers, and make even the more savvy users upgrade their plans just as "insurance" against punitive over-charging.

    Sweet, for everybody except the consumer ...
    terry flores
  • RE: iPhone 4S 'doubles' data usage ... but is Siri really to blame?

    I'll also bet that iOS5 is partly to blame. iOS4 was a tethered upgrade, where as iOS 5 is not. I will say that i use my iPhone 4S's data plan a lot more not with iCloud. The ability to pull a random song I don't normally listen too is great. Also, I find myself using it more with the hspa+ connectivity as there were some things I would just simply wait a bit for the wifi connection at work, or home.
  • Good

    I really do not truly have much to say in response, I only wanted to comment to reply great work and expository essay writing