Using Siri on 3G can double data usage, according to Atlanta-based network management firm Arieso. Michael Flanagan, the company’s chief technology officer, says iPhone 4S owners are using their phone’s functions more often.
All 4S owners notice a significant blip in data usage when they switch from a 4 or 3GS. I never exceeded 250MB a month with the iPhone 4 but I am now running at over 400MB. Although I am a heavy user of emails and web browsing, I seldom view video unless on a wifi network. And I now use Siri less than I did when it was new and a big talking point.
I suspect Siri, which regularly communicates with Apple’s servers, is actually a catalyst which encourages users to make more searches and explore the phone’s capabilities. We shouldn’t be too worried as long as the networks take a sensible view and tailor their packages to real-world usage.
Every generation brings faster and more capable devices and ever-increasing data use is inevitable. In a few years’ time, I suspect, the notion of having only 500MB a month will be laughable, just as we are now tickled to death by old computers with 256MB of memory. Networks, I suspect, will continue to offer more for less in order to continue to hit the sweet spot in users’ expectations.