While statisticians love to compare how many people are using the iPhone versus Android, BlackBerry and other smartphones, a new study shows that Verizon Wireless smartphones are churning through 25 percent more data than the iPhone on AT&T.
Validas, which analyzed more than 20,000 consumer wireless bills dated between January and May 2010, found that Verizon smartphones are chomping an average of 421 megabytes per month, compared with 338 megabytes per month for the popular iPhone.
Ed Finegold, executive vice president of analytics for Validas, said, "Nearly twice as many Verizon Wireless smartphone users are consuming 500 megabytes to 1 gigabyte per month compared to AT&T iPhone users."
In a proud display of statistics, Validas looked at several different data consumption metrics. While Validas singled out the iPhone even though it isn't the only smartphone AT&T carries, it didn't explicitly say what smartphones on Verizon are consuming the data.
Are they Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry devices or all three?
It's not BlackBerry, according to Validas, which excluded RIM devices because they do not follow the same consumption patterns iPhone and Android devices do thanks to "data compression techniques."
It's likely, then, that Validas is referring to Windows Mobile devices such as the Samsung Omnia II, Verizon HTC Imagio and Verizon LG Fathom.
Validas is also referring to the Droid units that have proven popular sellers for Verizon: the Motorola Droid, Droid Incredible and new Droid X.
The Droid has sold millions of units, and the Incredible and Droid X are so popular they are sold out all over the country until next month.
There is anecdotal evidence of high data consumption for the Droid X. Jennifer Byrne, Verizon business development executive director, said Verizon is seeing "something like 5x the data usage of any other device."
Other interesting points Finegold found are that more than 4 percent of Verizon smartphones consume more than 2 gigabytes per month, as opposed to just 1.6 percent of iPhones.
However, thanks to the iPhone, AT&T continues to lead with 71.2 percent of lines with data usage, up from 58.4 percent, with an increase in mean usage per user from 111.9MB to 149.6MB.
Verizon, which leapt in mean data usage per user from 48.2MB to 147.2MB, saw its data usage lines grow from 33.4 percent to 42.9 percent.
T-Mobile posted the second largest percentage increase in mean data usage per user, from 44.6MB to 120.6MB, with virtually no growth in overall percentage of lines with data usage.
Sprint increased from 36.9 percent of lines with data usage to 49.9 percent. However, mean usage per user decreased from 166.5MB to 133.4MB. This was due to an increase in the percentage of users consuming 50MB or less per month.
Validas is finalizing a comprehensive study that will flesh out its data points.