Driving the growth of data usage are “app friendly” mobile operating systems.

Smartphone users are using up more and more data than ever before.  According to data from Nielsen data usage is up to 89 percent more than last year.


In the last 12 months, the average smartphone user’s monthly data consumption has jumped from 230MB in the first quarter of 2010 to 435MB in the first quarter of 2011, Nielsen found.

Among the top 10 percent of data users, that number has jumped 109 percent, while the top 1 percent of data hogs are eating up 155 percent more data than a year ago, from 1.8GB to 4.6GB.

Driving this growth are “app friendly” mobile operating systems like those from Google and Apple. Consumers with iPhones or Android-based devices consume the most data—582MBs per month on Android and 492MB per month for the iPhone.

Consumers using phones on Microsoft’s new Window’s phone 7 platform, meanwhile, are also data hungry. They have doubled their data usage over the past two quarters, likely due to the growing number of apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

In news that’s good for your bank account, prices have not increased with data consumption, Nielsen said. “The amount the average smartphone user pays per unit of data has dropped by nearly 50 percent in the last year, from 14 cents per megabyte (MB) to a mere 8 cents,” the company said in a blog post.

The data is not entirely shocking. With more and more smartphones flooding the market, consumers have been ditching feature phones for data-intensive smartphones and tablets at an ever-increasing rate. In a recent report, IDC predicted Android will continue its climb toward mobile operating system dominance, capturing about 40 percent of the market in the second half of 2011. More surprising, however, is the projection that Windows Phone 7 will capture the number-two spot, as well as 20 percent market share, by 2015.

This increase in data use, meanwhile, will likely encourage the cell phone industry to continue its push for access to more wireless spectrum.

Photo credit: winoscentral

Via PC Mag