iPad 3 promo video (wireless and cellular networking)

We’ve always contended that while Android has a numerical advantage over Apple’s iOS, the iPhone and iPad see much greater usage.

More evidence of that belief: more than half of all 3G cellular traffic comes from Apple devices.

When combined, the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 account for about 53 percent of all 3G cellular traffic. Adding the iPad boosts the number to nearly 60 percent, according to a firm that analyzes cell network traffic. Where is Android? Samsung’s Galaxy S, S2 and S3 combined make up a bit over eighteen percent of 3G traffic…

According to Actix, which tracked for six months 3G traffic during the busiest hours, BlackBerry handsets accounted for a bit more than three percent of cellular usage. Nokia doesn’t even appear on the radar.

By the way, Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 7 that will allow iPhone and iPad owners control how much cellular data usage is allocated either to the device as a whole or on a per-app basis.


Another interesting wrinkle in the 3G data: the growing importance of tablets.

Although most iPads connect via Wi-Fi and the iPhone placed in the top three positions of cellular usage, the analysis found tablets consume data at a rate three times that of handsets.

Key takeaways:

  • iPad 2 and iPad 3 rank 6th and 7th in the list of most data hungry devices
  • These iPads consume three times more mobile data than an average smartphone
  • This is a four-fold increase in network traffic from iPads in the past six months and the first time any tablet has been amongst the top 10 ranking devices

It’s interesting how Actix terms the rise of tablets “the second phase in the mobile data revolution started by the iPhone in 2007.”

All of which makes me wonder why carriers want Android devices.

Despite their numerical advantage, despite being dirt cheap, Android smart devices don’t pay off when it comes to the current cellular holy grail: the data plan.

Would you agree that Actix survey reflects real-life device usage?

  • Jason

    Well my usage is defnitely not typical, but I certainly use my iOS devices much more than my Android one these days.

    I have an iP5, Galaxy SIII and an iPad. I use my iPad the most, in fact lots during the day. Indeed I use the ipad much more than my Macbook for instance. The Macbook is relegated to writing code and other stuff (though I really like OS X as a desktop OS).

    When I’m out I mainly use the iP5 unless I am going to be seated for a while and have my iPad with me. The SIII only really gets used when the rest of the family are with me, as a mobile hotspot so I don’t have to share my iphone’s bandwidth LOL.

  • MacServiceGuy

    really… apple is ahead of android on one of the networks of the past?

    and.. you mean to say…

    that apple, who ignored 4g/LTE until just a few months ago is ahead on a network that other phones abandoned 2 years ago…?

    GET OUT! how in the world did apple pull ahead in a dead band? SO AWESOME!

    • Ignacio Irigoyen

      The original report says “network data” and I see no mention if it is 3G or LTE soooooo….

      Never the less I bet my left leg (which is my favorite by the way), that there are a lot more 3G Android phones out there that iphones, so even if it was only 3G it is still impressive.

      Also adding some context, we are talking about a single company battling meany, not a an easy feat to accomplish.

      • MacServiceGuy

        i like that left leg thing, perfect amount of snarkyness without being trolly. totally stealing it

  • Gorgonphone

    apple is like a religion now for real

  • ha

    Apple probably tops 3G networks because they finally got 4G with their latest model of iPhone.

  • Jonah John

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of apple, but the reason for apple having a lot of 3G usage over android is because android had 4g usage long before the iphone 5 :/.

  • choatu

    its bad news ..cox in android files can share more easly.. bt in apple all we have to connect and download..

  • Sandy Cook

    Wouldn’t be surprised if this has something to do with Apple being late (as per usual) to the 4G game