Smartphones With Larger Screens Lead to More Data Usage

As mobile data consumption grows, the mobile user experience is increasingly a video experience.

smartphones and data usage

Apple iPhone 6 Plus subscribers generate the most data volume, double that of an iPhone 6, suggesting larger screen sizes lead to increased data usage, according to Citrix's latest mobile analytics report.

The report also found the number of enterprise-managed devices has increased 72 percent year-over-year, and clear regional and vertical trends appear to be emerging, with Apple iOS remaining the dominant mobile platform in the enterprise at 64 percent worldwide.

Meanwhile, Android is gaining popularity in Asia, and Windows is more than twice as popular in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) (16 percent) as it is in North America (7 percent).

Deeper analysis also shows that the distribution of mobile OS platforms vary by industry segment, with 71 percent of managed devices in the financial industry being on iOS and 39 percent penetration of managed Android devices in health care.

As mobile data consumption grows, the mobile user experience is, increasingly, a video experience.

"Sports is one of many video content categories that is driving increased data usage. The unique thing about sports content is that it's often consumed live or near-live, even by people who are attending the sports event that they're watching on their device," Mark Davis, senior director of product marketing for service provider platforms at Citrix, told eWeek. "This is the ultimate example of the two-screen phenomena that we see when people simultaneously watch television and their mobile device."

The report found the top five mobile games ranked by data volume now all contain video, compared to only two of the top five in Q1 2014.

Furthermore, sports-related video content on mobile has more than doubled, from 21 percent of all sports content over mobile in Q3 2014 to 50 percent in Q1 2015.

"The biggest driver of mobile data consumption is video. The greatest volume of video is associated with YouTube and Netflix. This tells us that, first and foremost, today’s smartphones have become personal entertainment centers," Davis said. "In parallel, there is a trend toward the use of smartphones and tablets as work productivity tools, as evidenced by the BYOD revolution."

Fitness has also increased its dominance of mobile health apps, with 78 percent of mobile health app users utilizing fitness apps, up from 39 percent in 2013.

"What we're seeing is, thus, the rise of the smartphone as a do-it-all tool that individuals use as both the means by which they consume entertainment and the means by which they bring their work with them when not in the office," Davis said.

The report is an analysis of anonymously sourced information encompassing both mobile subscriber and business mobility data drawn from a global cross-section of Citrix customers, with data sources including the ByteMobile traffic reporting solution and the XenMobile enterprise mobility management solution.