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iPhone 4S owners use almost twice as much data as iPhone 4 users

Update: Subsequent review of the actual study shows that Arieso is not claiming that Siri is to blame; that was introduced in the Reuters story and other media reports. We have updated our coverage.

A new study by telecom network tech firm Arieso shows that owners of Apple's new iPhone 4S are using almost twice as much data with their devices than iPhone 4 users, and almost three times as much as iPhone 3G users.

The report, covered by Reuters, shows that the primary driver of the data usage is the Siri intelligent assistant. iPhone 4S users are even consuming more data than iPad 2 users, who are probably more tied to Wi-Fi networks for their consumption of a steady diet of web pages, email, and media.

Arieso's CTO, Michael Flanagan, noted that "I use the iPhone 4 myself and when I first heard of the iPhone 4S features I was not compelled to rush out and get one. However, the data usage numbers I am seeing make me wonder what I am missing."

Since Apple's introduction of the original iPhone in 2007, the usage of mobile data has roughly doubled each year. Cloud-based services like Siri are widely expected to boost growth of data usage, which will be an issue until more efficient and speedy LTE networks become more widespread worldwide.

At this time, Siri is still in beta and has limited functionality outside of the U.S. That's expected to change in 2012, as AppleInsider reports that Apple is hiring software engineers to help with porting Siri to other languages and to work on an API that will expand the natural-language interaction to other applications.

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