Sprint CEO Hesse: Apple iPhone 50% more network efficient than Android phones

“The iPhone could be 50% more network efficient than the Android, based on comments from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse yesterday,” Dimitra DeFotis blogs for Barron’s. “Hesse said iPhone users are likely to consume significantly less 3G than the typical user of a dual-mode 3G/4G device.”

DeFotis reports, “Hesse’s 50% figure is key in calculating the long-term value of an iPhone to customers, Sprint’s long-term expectations for margin expansion and, BTIG Research says, ‘More importantly, if Sprint’s claims are true, this could become a new key differentiator in Apple’s relationship with the operators that subsidize versus its competitors HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tayster” for the heads up.]


  1. Apple’s iPhone is more efficient?! No kidding…. That hit iPhone users like a feather on the head.

    Although, Android users must have felt like a gold bar fell from several stories above onto there hard heads.

    Next revelation….

    1. lol RE: the “unless it’s patented” statement. It has nothing to do with patents. And if this WAS a patent issue (which it’s not) that wouldn’t stop Google from stealing the tech given their past history. It’s all about Google’s ad-driven economy, not patents.

    2. you think it might be due to the “non-integration tax”, if you will?

      That “tax” would be one of the performance hits you experience from a provider that can’t optimize the devices because it doesn’t own the stack of h/w, OS, s/w, ecosystem?

    1. I find the stark black & white a bit annoying. A good cream-colored page with higher quality paper would have suited me. I don’t think Steve would have liked the paper quality, it feels too dry or something.

  2. The quick, knee-jerk explanation of this is that Android users use their phone more, and for more online things than iPhone users, who (presumably) play more off-line games and don’t do much else that would consume bandwidth.

    A little bit of thinking would actually provide a bit better explanation. It is well documented that iPhone users have, on the average, more apps on their phone than Android users. It is also well documented that they use their apps more than Android users. There is a fundamental difference, though, between what these apps do. Due to the disparity between the numbers/percentages of free apps vs. paid apps (with Android users having significantly higher percentage of free ones), these apps tend to generate significantly more network traffic on the Android side, in order to generate ad revenue that would support the price of free.

    In other words, all that traffic that Android phones are generating is actually not user-driven; it is Google-driven, showing millions of ads constantly. On the iPhone side, user-driven traffic (such as e-mailing, tweeting, facebooking, YouTubeing, websurfing, etc) represents much higher percentage of the total.

      1. I’m pretty sure you still have to use wifi for the iOS updates. If the update goes over 20mb, the carriers won’t be happy.

        The 20mb limit is a carrier restriction not ios. It used to be 10mb.

    1. Good Point Predrag

      If that is the reason for Android being more of a hog on resources, Apple should really get a better deal than the Android manufacturers due to using less precious data streaming. Another reason the Cell companies will either wean off the android, pay less money for the phones, or raise the prices to compensate for the extra data usage.

      1. It has been reported that the subsidy that carriers pay for the iPhone is as high as $450. Android phones get substantially less than that (about 15-20% less).

        While Android handset makers may often spend more on components than Apple for similarly-specced devices, their wholesale prices for carriers are substantially lower (generating ever so slim margins). In other words, while an unlocked iPhone can be had for (at least) $650 and more, a comparable unlocked HTC device retails for about $550. Bought from a carrier, both go for $200 plus two-year contract.

        1. The subsidy price has nothing to do with the unlocked price – that’s a negotiation between apple and the carrier. The unlocked Android phones were supposed to go for $799, but they had to put them on sale for $549 for whatever reason.

          1. That is precisely my point. iPhones retail for $650. Android phones retail for $550 (for whatever reason — like, they’re cheaper and can’t fetch as much as iPhones). When carriers sell the two with a subsidy, they give Apple more upfront than they give other handset makers, so for the consumer, the net result is that they end up paying the same amount upfront for an iPhone as they would for an Android phone.

            The fact remains, iPhones are in fact more expensive (at full retail) than Android devices with similar specifications.

    2. I don’t see many ads on my droid, in fact I’ve only seen ads in a few apps that I have installed. I’ve seen none in the OS itself.

      I think it is the location data and other stuff that google collects from each device added in with all of the “call home” crap apps that most cell providers put on the phones that cannot be removed (without rooting).

  3. 1. Push Notification System
    More efficient to have a system service constantly poll for incoming notifications and messages, rather than have each app do it themselves.

    2. Multitasking as a system service
    Apps can’t just blindly make use of system resources, including the network.

    3. Apps vs. web page
    Much quicker and lighter to transmit raw data to an app rather than load an entire web page full of images, scripts, and stylesheets.

  4. of course the iPhone is more network efficient – android is very busy constantly uploading your personal private information to many different sources, creating network latency – plus has a ton of unnecessary background calls to the server. It’s the uplink that creates the inefficiency, not the downlink. iPhone users download more data than android. android users get more of their data uploaded than iPhone users.

    what a big reporting fail to not do the homework to understand network efficiency.

  5. I travel a lot and use my iPhone constantly for email (4 accounts), surfing the web, and managing voicemails. My highest every monthly usage was 440 MB.

    A friend of mine bought an Android phone, only has one email account and didn’t watch any videos and consumed 2 GB in 2 weeks. I believe it was the OTA updates as it is much better now but his data consumption is still higher than mine.

    1. Interesting. Although I still have my unlimited data plan, I have never come anywhere near the 2GB limit set for most of the plans (I would probably exceed the 250MB plan, so it’s not even a consideration).

      I have found all these arguments and complaints against carriers for dropping unlimited data plans, and ads like Sprint has been running, somewhat pointless because it seems like you would have to be on your phone constantly to burn up your monthly lot.

      Apparently it’s just an issue for Android users. Who knew?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.