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Average US smartphone data usage climbs 89%, cost per MB drops 46%

Mel Martin

Using your iPhone more and more? You're not alone. Data usage on all smartphones is soaring, according to new research by Nielsen.

In a monthly analysis of cell phone bills for more than 65,000 lines, smartphone users, especially iPhone and Android users, are using more data than ever. Nielsen notes that 37% of all US mobile users have smartphones.

Comparing data from a year ago, smartphone data consumption is up 89%, averaging a monthly 435 MB. Nielsen also notes that users are paying about the same for data as they were a year ago, so when factoring in the increased usage, the cost per unit has dropped about 50%.

These numbers have huge implications for carriers who are surely going to want to increase prices to make up for the explosion of data consumption. Most carriers, including AT&T, have dropped unlimited data plans, and it's likely that when new models of phones come out, AT&T and the others will force those who are grandfathered with unlimited plans to give them up.

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