According a report by network metrics firm Arieso, iPhone 4S users are consuming twice the amount of data than users of earlier iPhone models, and the reason is Siri. Siri is getting the blame for the huge increase in data consumption as it communicates with Apple’s servers to provide its personal assistant features.

"Voice is the ultimate human interface,” Arieso Chief Technology Officer Michael Flanagan said in an interview in London. “As you lower the barriers,” consumers will use their smartphones’ functions even more often, he said. Arieso, based in Atlanta, advises clients such as Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), Telefonica SA (TEF) and Nokia Siemens Networks Oy on how to manage wireless networks.

Data consumption remains a concern for those on restricted plans and on networks like AT&T that have historically suffered connectivity problems due to excessive load. Arieso claims to have measured one million subscribers across a single European network in both urban and rural areas to come up with its findings about Siri. We can understand a small increase in data with the additional functionality that Siri brings, however, it shouldn't be forgotten that iOS 5 was also released for other devices at the same time as the iPhone 4S was launched with Siri. iOS 5 brought a little extra service called iCloud too. We are sure a lot of this additional data usage could be explained by over the air updates, iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and many other data intensive tasks available for iPads and earlier iPhone models and not just Siri on the iPhone 4S.

And if Siri is responsible for the spike, it will be interesting to see what if any decline results when the novelty wears off. How many times can you really ask how to hide a body, or have the pod bay doors opened?

Source: Bloomberg