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No I am not here to talk about the Yahoo! rogue data usage issue that cropped up in the last few weeks.  I am talking about in the every day use of a Windows Phone 7 compared to the last phone you owned before you got that Windows Phone 7.

This comparison is restricted to phones in my household because I can access the data usage trends through my AT&T account so your mileage may vary.

Some background first.  I have been on a smartphone of some sort for about 4 years and was always a mobile web user even on an old Samsung flip style phone.  That usage remained and expanded as I moved through using the BlackJack, BlackJack 2 and my last smartphone the HTC Tilt 2.  Before the Windows Phone 7 upgrade I typically used my smartphone to download email, web browse, Twitter and Facebook. 

My wife on the other hand primarily used her past phones, none of which were smartphones, to call and text others.  No web browsing, Twitter, etc.

We upgraded to the Windows Phone 7 handsets back in early December 2010 right as a billing cycle was closing.  The two phones we got were the Samsung Focus for my wife and the LG Quantum for me as I had to have the physical keyboard.

So to get the comparison started here are charts of mine and my wife’s usage from January 2010 to January 2011.

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January 2011 is the first full cycle we have both been on the Windows Phone 7 handsets.  Although I have had some heavy data usage in the last year in a couple of months (Feb and Jul 2010) and one abnormally low month (Nov 2010) my wife had consistent data usage in the past year which has been zero until Dec 2010.  I had 655 MB of data usage in Jan 2011 which is well above my two high months last year.  My wife had .1 MB in Dec 2010 and then 60 MB in Jan 2011.  Before you ask, no she was not using Yahoo! Mail or anything like that.

Now I suspect part of my high usage that first month with Windows Phone 7 is related to downloading and trying out apps which is something my previous smartphones did not have.  The same could be said for my wife’s usage as well.  I think that will settle down a little bit over the next few months but then again downloading apps and trying them out is quite fun!  My wife also never checked email on her phone in the past but now has her Hotmail on the Samsung Focus.

So based on these numbers I would have to say that Windows Phone 7 could definitely increase your overall data usage but it will be interesting to see how this trend continues over the next few months.  Sounds like a good reason for an updated post down the road.

If your on Windows Phone 7 how has your data usage changed since you got it?