NPD: Smartphone Wi-Fi and data consumption is 44% higher on 4.5″ screens and larger compared to smaller screens

NPD: Smartphone Wi-Fi and data consumption is 44% higher on 4.5″ screens and larger compared to ...

If your smartphone has a large screen, chances are your Wi-Fi and data consumption will be higher than if you were using a smaller screen device. In fact, monthly Wi-Fi and cellular data consumption on smartphones with screens 4.5 inches and larger is 44 percent greater than it is on smartphones with screens under 4.5 inches, at about 7.2GB and 5.0GB respectively.

These latest estimates come from NPD, which notes the availability of larger smartphones has grown from representing only 11 percent of retail models at the end of Q3 2012 in the US to 28 percent at the end of Q3 2013. The trend is contributing to data usage overall, which increased 19 percent in the same time period.


Unsurprisingly, most of this data consumption on larger phones comes from greater usage of social media, navigation, video, retail, and music apps. NPD found that Facebook, Google Maps, YouTube, Amazon (retail), and Pandora Radio apps were the most used among consumers with larger phones.


“OEMs are poised to continue increasing the product assortment and availability of smartphones with larger screen sizes in the coming years,” John Buffone, NPD’s director of devices, said in a statement. “Even though today larger screens represent a smaller part of the market, their relevance is increasing as consumers look for more ways to interact with content while on-the-go. This is a win, not only for the manufacturers, but also for the carriers as data consumption and usage will keep increasing.”

Of course it’s not that simple. Carriers both want consumers to use more data so they can charge them for it, but they also often struggle to keep up with demand.

NPD’s results come from surveying “the equivalent base of 4,500 smartphone users” between May 2013 and July 2013. The company says the data is weighted and representative of the Android and iPhone smartphone base in the US.

You can get NPD’s full Smartphone Usage Report by filling out the form here.

Top Image Credit: David Becker/Getty Images

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