International Travelers Beware: iPhone 4S is a Real Gas Guzzler When it Comes to Data


If you plan to travel abroad this year with your iPhone 4S, make sure you have a clear idea of how much it will cost you in terms of data.

new study released this past week by mobile network monitoring firm Arieso reveals that the iPhone 4S commands twice as much data as the iPhone 4 and three times the data of the iPhone 3G. The increase is nourished by things like Siri, higher resolution photos and video, and more advanced apps which pull more data.

What this means for travelers is that, now, more than ever, it is best to connect using Wi-Fi whenever possible. Secondly, it is really important to be aware of data usage and data plan limitations during your trip. International data packages vary, so check with your mobile provider prior to departure to select a plan that best fits your needs.

To monitor your data usage, be sure to do the following before boarding your international flight (or any other mode of transport):

  • Reset the iPhone Usage Tracker to zero by going to Settings>General>Usage>Reset. This makes it very easy to periodically check your data usage.

  • Turn off Data Roaming on your iPhone by going to Settings>General>Network>Data Roaming, then turn OFF Data Roaming. Only turn this on when you want to connect for data and be sure to turn it back off the moment you are finished.

Have you ever run up a big phone bill on your travels? Do you have any money saving tips? 

IMAGE: vasile23

4 thoughts on “International Travelers Beware: iPhone 4S is a Real Gas Guzzler When it Comes to Data

  • From stories that I’ve heard about big roaming bills with earlier iPhones, I’d say that it’s unwise to having data roaming turned on regardless of your iPhone’s model number. (A four-digit roaming bill is likely to come as a shock whether it’s for 1,000, 2,000, or 3,000 dollars/pounds/euros.)

    Also, non-techies should be warned that high data-roaming charges aren’t limited to iPhones. Other types of smartphones, such as Android phones, can suck up bandwidth and money, too.

  • This should make upgrading to my next iphone interesting, forget roaming data. Here at home, now that O2 doesn’t have unlimited data, I manage to max out my data allowance every month! Even this month when I was away for 4 days on on wifi more than ever (I suspect Tweetdeck is the culprit for me)

  • I made the jump to unlocked 4S just before New Years and so far have had foreign SIM cards in the UK and Costa Rica. Problem solved. For a shockingly small $10 USD in Costa Rica I’ve had unbelievable coverage and fast data upload/download speeds without WiFi. Relying completely on their 3G network. I can’t imagine ever going back to a locked phone now as an international traveler. The initial price of the unlocked phone was hard to swallow but in just two trips it’s already more than paid for itself.

    Also, fearing it was “too good to be true”, I checked with Kolbi on the SIM card I have here in CR and sure enough, I’m still well within my $10 allotted allowance.

    With articles like this, it just makes me want to stress more than ever that serious travelers consider unlocked phones.

  • Excellent advise. A friend advised to turn off some functions prior to leaving ctry. It permitted using iPhone during conf for photos & recording.

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