One-Quarter Of Smartphone Owners Consume No Data - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
09:13 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
How to Talk to Your Management about IT Security
Aug 30, 2017
This webinar will bring you some new methods for describing and measuring your cybersecurity initi ...Read More>>

One-Quarter Of Smartphone Owners Consume No Data

By some small miracle -- or catastrophe, I can't decide -- 25% of smartphone owners consume zero megabytes per month. They use their smartphones only for voice and text. What gives?

According to a new report from Nielsen, a huge percentage of smartphone owners aren't taking advantage of their devices at all. Roughly 25% use only the voice and SMS applications on their smartphone, leaving the mobile Internet, email, social networking, and Pandora streaming to others.

In fact, Nielsen reports that 33% of smartphone owners in the U.S. haven't even subscribed to a data plan. Nielsen attributes this odd statistic to those who were first to buy smartphones before data plans were required, and have somehow been grandfathered in without one.

During the first quarter of 2009, the average U.S. user consumed 90MB of data per month (though one-third of users consumed less than 1MB). During the first quarter of 2010, that number jumped to 298MB, an increase of 230%. Penetration of smartphones in the U.S. is at about 23%, and Nieslen claims about 20 million smartphone users are barely touching their devices.

This is a problem for the wireless network operators, as it means that a huge number of customers haven't been educated on how to use their devices. The result is that the carriers are missing out on a large revenue opportunity.

Looking at the other end of the spectrum, Nielsen says that the top 6% of smartphone owners are consuming half of all the mobile data used in the U.S. That doesn't surprise me. My own mobile data use ranges between 1.7GB and about 3.1GB per month. I use the browser constantly and of course email is always non-stop.

Nielsen came by this data after looking at 60,000 cell phone bills. The company didn't say if its analysis include data from business users of smartphones. Now that it has had a chance to look at an analyze this data, Nielsen concludes that AT&T's new data plans are fair.

Remember, AT&T changed the pricing of its data plans just ahead of the iPhone 4 launch. For $15 per month users get 200MB, and for $25 users get 2GB. AT&T said that two-thirds of its users would do fine with the $15 plan, and 97% of its users would do fine with the $25 plan.

Based on my own usage, which creeps over the 2GB mark about four or five months each year, I decided to keep my $30 unlimited plan when I bought the new iPhone several weeks ago.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll