Android users gobble up the most data

A new study reveals that Android phone owners are using more mobile data than anyone else.

The report, conducted by Nielsen, claims that the average Android user consumes 528 MB of mobile data every month.

In contrast, iPhone owners are only using an average of 492 MB per month.

Surprisingly, HP’s WebOS platform, which has a significantly small market share, clocks in at 448 MB of data per user per month, on average.

Windows Phone 7 users took 317 MB, and Blackberry OS only tipped the scales at 127 MB.

AT&T took the bold step recently of eliminating unlimited data plans for new subscribers. That was seen as a move largely targeted at iPhone users, since AT&T used to be the exclusive provider of iPhone data service.

This data, though, would suggest that other carriers – all of which have a stronger Android library than AT&T – have a bigger reason to be concerned.

Regardless of all that, these numbers don’t really pose a huge threat since, even under AT&T’s new data structure, the average user would not even come close to reaching the monthly cap.

The problem arises when the heaviest data users – the outliers – downloaded several gigabytes through their mobile network in a single month. Those users are overwhelmingly drowned out by the many more consumers who only check their e-mail or use the occasional low-end app.

It’s believed there are more of those extreme high-capacity consumers on the iPhone than on Android, but there are also a lot of people who buy an iPhone just because of the buzz and then rarely use mobile data. Android users, on the other hand, are likely to be more down the middle.