iPhone Users Have Highest Wireless Carrier Bills - Over $100 Per Month

By Alexandra Burlacu email: a.burlacu@mobilenapps.com | Jan 31, 2013 02:13 PM EST

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iPhone owners have the highest wireless carrier bills across all smartphone platforms, and 10 percent spend more than $200 per month.

While the iPhone generally requires a more substantial carrier subsidy than typical Android alternatives, it also generates the highest carrier fees. The increasing trend of browsing the Web on mobile is no secret, but it seems that iPhone owners take the lead.

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Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) shared its data with AllThingsD, showing that the average monthly carrier bill of the typical iPhone user tops the smartphone market. According to the report, iPhone owners spend more on wireless fees than owners of any other smartphone, be it Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone.

CIRP polled users during October to December 2012, and nearly 60 percent of respondents spent more than $100 per month on their wireless plan, while 10 percent spent a whopping $200 or more. Only six percent reported spending $50 or less. The percent of Android users in the same category was double. Meanwhile, only 53 percent of Android users spent $100 or more per month, while just 7 spent $200 or more per month. The differences may not be so big, but with millions of smartphones activated each quarter they are quite significant. Why do iPhone owners have higher bills?

"We think it has to do with their data plans and carriers, rather than their usage habits," CIRP co-founder Michael Levin told ATD. "They are all on expensive data plans, unlike Android users, some of which are on prepaid or unsubsidized plans with regional carriers."

At the same time, iPhone owners may spend more on their wireless plans, but that doesn't necessarily mean that carriers are making a fortune off them.

"Given the subsidies on iPhones, the carriers are working hard to make their money back during the course of the contract," explained CIRP's Josh Levitz. "With the exception of perhaps the hottest Android phones, we think the subsidies on Android phones are lower, so the carriers make more money even with slightly lower per-subscriber revenue."

Lastly, CIRP also analyzed consumer loyalty to the platform, and found that iOS and Android users are the most loyal to their chosen operating system. According to CIRP, 88 percent of the iPhone activations it charted for the survey were from prior iPhone users, while 64 percent of Android activations were from prior Android users. Meanwhile, only seven percent of BlackBerry users and nine percent of Windows Phone users reported sticking to those platforms.

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