Surf’s up as iPhone wave hits mobile networks: study

David Braue
23 September, 2008
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iPhone users are forcing Australia’s 3G networks to stretch their legs as surging usage of mobile data services increases by 9% per day, mobile web site analytics provider Amtheon has reported.

Kicking off a bimonthly research program called the Australian Mobile Internet Insight, Amtheon analysts today said the iPhone “completely dominated data consumption behaviour” in Australia and that the average iPhone browsing session consumed six times as much data as the average mobile session – 2.07MB compared with 0.3MB.

Heavier usage was associated with longer browsing, with iPhone users staying at sites for 2.8 minutes compared with the average mobile user duration of 1.6 minutes – and the average desktop user average of 2.4 minutes.

This could change over time, CTO James Cleary said in a statement: “Proud new iPhone owners are very likely to be surprised by incredibly high data usage, because of the quantity of data consumed with their heavy web browsing. Our belief is that many will adjust their browsing habits as the novelty wears off and some may upgrade their current plan to allow them more data usage.”

Amtheon provides usage analytics services to a range of content publishers and aggregated the iPhone usage data from 100 million page views over a two-week period in early August. Among the other findings in its report:

  • iPhone users tend to browse more around 8am and don’t peak at night like average mobile users
  • Demand for sports content means Saturday is the peak browsing day for iPhone and average mobile users
  • 97 percent of iPhone users use desktop versions of web search engines instead of mobile-only versions, compared with 43.6 percent of all mobile users
  • 97 percent of iPhone users rely on Google, compared with 95.5 percent of all mobile users
  • Average page views per visit for iPhone users were 73 percent higher than on other mobiles and 30 percent higher than desktop browsers.

While flagging the high showing for iPhone users, Amtheon was careful to point out that the devices are still new to the Australian market, and therefore the figures may be higher now than in the long term.

How has the iPhone changed your Web habits? Tell us about it in the AMW Forums.

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