Smartphones overtake tablets in data usage for first time

Eric Abent - Jan 14, 2013
Smartphones overtake tablets in data usage for first time

We’ve been seeing a major push for tablets lately, but if a new study from Arieso is to be believed, then manufacturers might want to rethink their strategies. As it turns out, Arieso has found that smartphones have passed tablets in data usage for the first time in the three years the company has been doing these studies. You’d think that given the larger screens found on most tablets, users would turn to those devices more often for Internet access, but it seems that the tides are changing as far as mobile data goes.

As far as data downloads are concerned, Arieso found that iPhone 5 users download the most. In fact, iPhone 5 users downloaded four times as much stuff as iPhone 3G users, and 50% more than iPhone 4S users, who enjoyed being at the top of the list after last year’s study. Interestingly enough, Galaxy S III took home the top spot for mobile uploads, which suggest that Galaxy S III owners are uploading more pictures and video than those on iPhone 5.

Just as well, those opting for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 are downloading 20% more than those on iPad, so while Apple has the smartphone arena on lockdown for the time being, it’s facing some pretty stiff competition in the tablet space, at least from the perspective of mobile downloads. To top things off, we’re discovering from this study that a very small number of people use a very large percentage of data. Arieso says one percent of users consume 40% of total downlink data, with the top 0.1% is responsible for 20% of that. The top 10% of users account for 80% of total downlink data, so it seems that there are a number of users who don’t download very many things on their mobile devices.

Keep in mind that in years prior, tablets came out on top in Arieso’s studies, so there might be a little bit of back and forth in the years to come as users continue to adopt smartphones and tablets on a broader scale. Still, it’ll be interesting to see what Arieso’s data says next year, especially with the battle between iOS and Android seemingly becoming a closer race with this latest report. Stay tuned.

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