iPhone 4S cellular data usage soars

Posted on by Mike Evans

Snapshot on September 29 after 45 daysIt’s no secret that the iPhone 4S (or, more likely, iOS 5) uses a lot more cellular data. Everyone has noticed it and users are worried that they could be unwittingly exceeding their package allowances.

After three weeks with the 4S I now have some statistics to share with you. And they don’t make good reading. First, I should state that my usage pattern is pretty constant, the usual mix of wifi and 3G, and nothing has changed since I got the 4S, other than some fun with Siri. In addition, these figures are taken from the Mobile Usage tab in Settings and I have no way of knowing how they relate to actual data as recorded by the phone company. However, the comparison below is like for like.

  • In the 45 days prior to September 29, I used a total of 414Mb of data or 9.2Mb per day.
  • In the 21 days since October 14 (new iPhone 4S) my tally has soared to 447Mb, a hefty 21.3Mb per day. 

Data on November 4 after 21 days’ useThis, coupled with the dramatic reduction in battery life (whether down to the faster processor of the 4S or the changes in iOS 5) is clearly a problem. We know that Apple identified bugs which are reducing battery life and a fix is on the way. So far, though, nothing has been said about increased use of celluar data.

We have to be realistic, of course. As our phones get more and more features and spend more time synchronising with cloud servers, the use of data will inevitably rise. It’s just that this difference over a couple of months is quite dramatic.

It is clearly important for everyone to check their usage against their data package, and vital to make sure to avoid excess roaming charges when using the phone abroad.

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