Apple Siri’s smashing success prompts first big choice of Cook era

“The huge success of the Apple 4S, especially its Siri voice interface, has brought about the first big choice of Tim Cook’s reign as Apple (AAPL) CEO,” Dana Blankenhorn writes for Seeking Alpha.

“It seems Siri means 4S users consume twice the data each month as other iPhone users, based on data from Arieso, a British market research firm with offices in Atlanta,” Blankenhorn writes. “As a result, there’s a growing divide between “data hogs” and the rest of the data universe, with 1% of users consuming half of all traffic, and 10% consuming 90% of traffic.”

Blankenhorn writes, “Why does this matter to Tim Cook? Because all the big telcos, not just AT&T but Verizon even Sprint, are now limiting downloads from these heavy users, while they fight to catch up. As the number of Siri users grows, the pressure will mount, and the latest estimates are Apple will sell 125 [million] iPhones this year alone.”

“What’s needed, as Muni Wireless’ Paul Kapustka says, is someone who will build a network as powerful as the devices coming onto it, with simple pricing plans that encourage abundant use, rather than discourage it,” Blankenhorn writes. “That’s now Cook’s challenge. The question is, will he take it on?”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Study: Apple iPhone 4S users consume twice as much data as iPhone 4 users – January 6, 2012


  1. Ignorant media easily become victims of nonsense rumours. Higher data consumption of iPhone 4S has little to do with Siri per se. It is very well documented and measured by *responsible* media that Siri consumes data at quite moderate rate.

  2. Just streaming BBC 6Music for three hours a day for five days uses my entire O2 data allowance. 500Mb gone in a week. Telco’s need to get a network infrastructure that can cope with unlimited data access.

  3. None of these media types are including iCloud in their calculations either. It wouldn’t surprise me if people purchased a lower-capacity iPhone, planning to use iCloud to switch music and video on the fly (that’s what my wife and I did).

  4. This would make as much sense as Ford taking on the responsibility of building a road system because they are building and selling cars with more horse power.

    1. “This would make as much sense as Ford taking on the responsibility of building a road system because they are building and selling cars with more horse power.”

      Not more horse power.
      Because the new “Ford” is so improved and capable their customers are driving much more often (can do more), farther (more of the world to explore) and carrying heavier loads (pictures, music, etc) Ford wants to sell more. So maybe it would be to their advantage to invest in roads, fuel, tires, etc. hum?

  5. I’m not sure if Siri marks a “win” in the Tim Cook solo column just yet. The technology was purchased while Job’s while still an active CEO, which means he probably had planned on implementing it into the phone. (see the D8 conference video for Job’s explanation).

  6. The comparison to cars and highways is asinine. The technological coupling that exists between a smartphone and a wireless network is at least 1000x more profound than a tire and the road. I think the question of whether Apple should own a network is a serious one. If I were Cook, I’d be looking hard at T-Mobile.

    1. “If I were Cook, I’d be looking hard at T-Mobile”

      I seriously hope you were joking. You are aware that Apple is selling iPhones to the carriers who then resell them to the public (subsidized by a pricy monthly subscription) right? So you’re brilliant advice is that Apple should compete against their own customers?

  7. This has been talked about many times and is just as stupid now. Apple is an international company. They would only do this if they could internationally, which they probably can’t. They won’t invest 10’s of billions just in the USA. Too small a market for such an investment.

  8. I’m not sure that Siri can be considered a bandwidth hog any more than an average web browser.

    But this is all rather good news at it creates a financial incentive for mobile companies to drastically increase their capacity and reliability. The result will be gradually increasing quality in mobile technology. Goodness knows it needs improvement!

  9. Apple is coming. As usual, they won’t announce a thing until it is ready to sell. No market is as ripe for disruption and transformation as wireless is. (why the incumbents appear to be striving to be the first against the wall when the revolution comes is beyond me [unless they are prescient enough to see their end coming and are grabbing up while they can – I credit them with all but the prescient part]) Quality “it just works” wireless is an essential part of Apple’s future. They’re not going to get it wrong or trust it to anyone else.

  10. I would gladly pay any company for an unlimited data plan without throttling I use massive amounts watching Netflix and streaming old time radio shows usually around 15 to 30 GB A MONTH BUT I DON’T HACE ACCESS TO WIFI OR ANY OTHER DATA AND CAN’T EVEN GET IT WHERE I LIVE RIGHT NOW IM SICK TO MY STOMACH WHEN I DO A SPEED TEST ON AT&T AND IT BARLY MOVES THE NEEDLE BUT AT LEAST I CAN STILL STREAM MUSIC AND RADIO PLUS BROWSE THE WEB ALBIET VERY SLOW ): they pretty much just blocked the availability of streaming movies and downloaded huge files …. I hope in the coming months a network will be able to to handle the mass loads being pushed thru I mean it’s like having a high speed pure muscle car but the speed limit is only 10 miles an hour on the freeway

    Could you imagine !!!

  11. The ideal plan would be a “Pay as you go” plan where EVERYTHING is counted as DATA.

    Calling IS Data being sent over the waves.
    So is Texting
    So is MMS/Email
    So is actual DATA usage.

    The Unlimited plan:
    If you charge $10/GB for any smartphone user, people can use that 1GB wherever they want to… as they increase data usage,you can keep adding another gig to their plan and another $10 to their bill…

    The Limited Plans:
    3GB max – $24
    5GB max – $40
    7GB max – $56

    These will be cheaper at $8/GB, but if you commit to paying that much per month. Going over the limit will cost you $12 per gigabyte.

    If any single carrier created a plan like the one I outlined above, and invested in a network that was powerful enough to support it, it would be the end of Insanely high smartphone bills… AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint would lose so many customers that they would be forced to match these prices, or die out.

  12. MDN.
    If you feature a foolish commentator, it diminishes your credibility.
    Amongst a string of gross inaccuracies, he posits that Apple will sell all of 125 iPhones in 2012. When challenged on this, his defence is that this is the figure he discovered in his research. He is not inclined to engage his brain when he writes, it seems.

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