Verizon Droids use more data than iPhones?

July 28, 2010: 9:32 AM ET

A new survey sugests that iPhone is no longer the data usage champ.

Verizon users can't get enough of those Data-hogging Droids (until August anyway)

AT&T (T) and Apple (AAPL) will tell you until they are blue in the face that the iPhone uses more data than any other device in the history of mobile communications.  That's why there has been all the fuss about an over-saturated network causing dropped calls..

A study released today by Validas seems to refute those claims, however. According to their findings, the average data consumption for non-Blackberry Verizon (VZ) smartphones was 421MB per month, compared to the 338MB per month consumed by AT&T iPhone users. It wasn't even close!  Their methodology:

Our 2009-2010 Wireless Data Consumption study examines, analyzes and compares information drawn directly from actual consumer bills from 2009 and 2010. It provides year-over-year trends and detailed distribution charts segmented by device and by carrier, providing unique insight into the explosive growth in wireless data, which carriers are benefitting most from it, and which user and device groups are most driving it.

While the study didn't specifically call out Verizon's line of high end Android phones, there is really nothing else in Verizon's line that would make such an impact besides the multimedia-heavy Droids. Who else would be using so much data?  Windows Mobile? Symbian? the Pre? No way - in fact, I'd say that the Droids were even pulled down by these devices.  They didn't include Blackberry devices in the study because of the way they compress data.

The iPhone won't be catching up to Verizon's Droids anytime soon either.  Verizon said last week that the new Droid X phones were using 5 times the data as any other phone they've carried.  On the flipside, AT&T recently put new data caps on its users which should slow their data uptick overall.

Will Apple and AT&T continue to be able to use "unprecedented data" usage as an excuse for poor iPhone performance if Verizon and its Droid phones are pushing more data without the same issues?

More stats from the study:

• Growth in data users from 42% to 53% of total subscribers between 2009 and 2010
• Increase in mean MB usage per user from 96.8 MB to 145.8 MB
• New Smartphones, excluding iPhone and Blackberry, drove the greatest increases in usage, with an increased mean consumption per user from 139 MBs to 415 MBs, and 87% of subscribers with usage to 94% of subscribers
• Mean data consumption among aircard users grows 8% from 1,373.3MBs to 1,485.2MBs
• Increase in data users among feature phones from 27.3% to 36.7% with an increase in mean data consumption from 46.1 MBs to 67.9 MBs
• Verizon Wireless posts the largest percentage increase in mean data usage per user from 48.2MB to 147.2 MB; increase from 33.4% to 42.9% lines with data usage
• T-Mobile second largest percentage increase in mean data usage per user, from 44.6 MB to 120.6 MB, but virtually no growth in overall percentage of lines with data usage
• Sprint increased from 36.9% of lines with data usage to 49.9%, but mean usage per user decreased from 166.5 MB to 133.4 MB due to increase in % of users consuming 50MBs or less per month
• AT&T continues to lead with 71.2% of users with data usage, up from 58.4%, with increase in mean usage per user from 111.9 MB to 149.6 MB
• VZW posted largest increase in aircard/laptop card mean usage per user, from 1.25 GB to 1.6 GB
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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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