Android Leading in Smartphone Marketshare AND Data Usage


Hey, everyone! It’s that time again! Time for some more fun facts and general statistics from around the mobile world! This time brought to you by the Nielsen statistics company. Almost every week we receive some new statistics shedding light on how Google’s Android mobile OS is taking over the tech world and, in the process, is taking a huge steaming heap of… gumdrops on rival Apple’s iOS.

Besides the normal “Android leading in smartphone market share,” (pictured above) in a new report by Nielsen, Android users are also consuming more data on their handsets than any other mobile OS. With 582MB of data consumed on average in just the first quarter of the year in comparison to iOS users who only used about 492MB. Nielsen gathered this information from around 65,000 cellphone bills around the U.S.

I’ll go ahead an play devil’s advocate for a quick second. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of that data usage had something to do with the amount of unauthorized tethering we’ve seen carriers begin cracking down on as of late. Even though I’m sure most Android elitists will have you believe that Android users are generally more tech savvy than iOS users, resulting in more navigating of the world wide web and its wonders therein.

So how about you guys? If you could guestimate how much data you use in a month, where would you fall? I happen to know for a fact that 582MB of data would be a slow week for me. Mmmmmm… data. Andy must feed. Om nom nom.

[Via NielsenWire]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Chris, I can always tell when you write a story. Om nom nom.

    1. Not sure if that’s good or bad….. o_O

      1. Oh, it’s good. You just have a different style than the other writers. I like it.

        1. I like you, Mitch. <3

      2. your articles seem alright, your logic seems pretty much based on imagination though. I mean really, usage and tethering do not ever have to go together. 

        1. The phone bill wont distinguish if its primarily data accrued from just the phone or if the user was tethering to something else…? 

  2. I thought I was using my data plan heavily (sans-tethering)… I only gots 171 MB total this month. Meanwhile: “How do you like them apples!”

  3. 608MB’s last month, 400MB’s the month before, and 679 MB’s the month before, i have wifi nearly everywhere, but you’d think with 4G wimax i’d be pulling bigger numbers, I’m so glad i’m paying an extra $10/mo for <1GB of data.

  4. I thought that this would happen awhile ago because there are quite a couple of unlimited data plans when it comes to android phones but apple has at&t and their data limits.

  5. Tethering your iPhone is probably the #1 reason they are jailbroken, so I doubt that’s why abdroid leads in consumption.

  6. Since I got my Droid I’ve been averaging 2-2.5 GB per month without tethering.  Listening to Pandora at work chews up quite a bit of bandwidth.  I’ve started listening to several podcasts and downloading them on wifi which reduces my usage lately.  Of course I have also started watching Netflix on my lunch break so that will drive data usage back up.  Looks like I am well into outlier territory.

  7. I found the article amusing.  Thumbs up!

  8. Android users ARE generally more tech say.. but your right.. that leads to more tethering. Non techies are not techno addicts and don’t NEED their laptops every were they go. Another factor is flash…. its much easier to download lots of movies when you are not paying 5 bucks each for them. Not a tech thing, but pirates also prefer android to ios…. and pirates tend to be geekier by chance as well.

  9. I would definitely say that this average has nothing to do with tethering. If they averaged all the people that tether with Android phones that average would be WAY higher. 

  10. I’ll just take Android leading in both market share AND data usage as concrete proof of the superiority of open architectures.  That being said, I like my MacBook Pro, also :-)

    1. Cool story bro

  11. But the Microsoft 9 figure advertising campaign and paid shill articles from the usual suspects all told me that Win 7 Mobile was going to take over the world?

  12. lol according to tmobile i use an average of 5 gigs per month which i pay for unlimited data on their hspa+ network using the G2, i believe android is the only platform that has LTE, HSPA+, and WIMAX right now, so even if iphone, blackberry, or win7 users wanted to use more data they have to do it over a longer period, while android users can tether to other devices. and i dont even tether only if i have to juice up my friends iphone lol

  13. I’m thinking the real reason that iOS has less data use is because less people use their browsers on iOS compared to Android.

    I don’t really have any hard facts to support this, but I bet if you took the top 100 data users on iOS and then the top 100 on Android it would be a lot closer, or iOS would have data usage.

    Really the only reason to care about this was before the iPhone came to Verizon.  Because Verizon could easily (true-fully) say they were capable of handling the iPhone’s data usage better then AT&T.

  14. I would really love to see this average data usage broken down by screen
    size.  Its just a pain in the ass to use a 3.5″ phone for content no
    matter how good the resolution.  4.3″ is much, much better.  And its not
    just video.  I need to resize web pages much less often on the DroidX than on the OG Droid.

    At some point, the phone gets too big to put comfortably in your pocket – but take
    me right to that point and I’ll always choose (and recommend) the bigger

  15. But isn’t that market share number lower than the last Nielsen report?? So, you don’t mention the fact that not only has the meteoric rise of market share stalled, but in reality is losing market share? I wonder why you fail to mention that??

    1. You mean like this article?

      Would like to point out a lil something from the article:

      “The latest Nielsen survey on U.S. smartphone use is in and the Android
      OS slipped 1 percentage point to a 36% share since March. That is the first drop in Android’s slice of the smartphone pie in recent memory. The Apple
      iPhone was unable to take advantage of Android’s drop as that device
      also lost 1 point and weighed in with a 26% share of the U.S. smartphone
      market. Blackberry reversed recent trends and tacked on 1 point to hold a 23% stake in the U.S.”

      Is this the same type of article that was plastered all over the web a month ago that until this one had no mention of iOS losing too?? The same type of article that before made sure to mention the the iPhone going to Verizon was probably the cause of the drop for Android??

      if thats the case, what was the cause for the drop of the iPhone??

      Amazing how 1 story can have different spins.

  16. Doesn’t the att iPhone allow tethering for free, even as a built in function?

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