On “average,” iPhone customers use more data than any other smart phone users, and account for 80 percent of the top 10 percent of the heaviest data users, according to a new report from Analysys Mason.

Of those smartphone consumers who are in the 70th percentile or above in terms of data usage, iPhone users appear more than three times as frequently as users of Android-based HTC devices.

But keep in mind that when looking at data consumption, “average,” measured as a “mean” score, can be quite misleading, since it normally is the case that a very small percentage of heavy users skew the “averages.” Almost always, in addition to the small percentage of very-heavy users, there are substantial numbers of very-light users.

The report is based on data derived from Arbitron Mobile’s on-device monitoring app that provided access to the smartphone behaviour of more than 1000 panellists for two months in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain.

Average smartphone data traffic levels are very heavily skewed by the high data usage of a small group of individuals, Analysys Mason notes.

The high usage at the top end of the user base means that average (mean) monthly smartphone data traffic levels, which stood at 807 MBytes a month for our panel, are 3.5 times higher than median (half use more, half use less) data traffic levels generated by individual users (221 MBytes a month).

Email has eclipsed text messaging as a more widely used communication method, but barely. Some 97 percent of panelists used text messaging, but 98 percent used email during the two-month period.

Fully 75 percent of panelists used Wi-Fi on their smart phone. Also, 45 percent of panelists used instant messaging or over-the-top messaging services, almost half of whom used WhatsApp Messenger.

In the United States, 30 percent of consumers used more than 500 MByte of cellular data each month, compared with 13 percent in France and the U.K. market using that amount, and only eight percent in Germany.

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