iPhone’s Siri Crowds Broadband Networks

Network firm Arieso says iPhone 4S Siri users consume nearly twice the data of the previous iPhone line. Arieso’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Flanagan says Siri’s ease of use has made smartphone owners more likely to access their phones capabilities. The new trend is also placing greater pressure on network providers who struggle to keep up with data demand.

Bloomberg quoted Flanagan, who said, “Voice is the ultimate human interface.”  Siri, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) voice-activated personal assistant, enables iPhone 4S users to check the weather or find a phone number with just a few words. Flanagan also said the iPhone 4S’ ability to regularly sync with other Apple applications such as iTunes may also account for the increased data usage.

The increased data usage is a scary thought for network providers, especially when you take into account that Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) alone sold 4.2 million of the devices in the fourth quarter. Operators such as AT&T (NYSE:T) and Sprint (NYSE:S) have also begun to search for ways to lessen the load on their networks by enforcing data usage limits or converting to “consumption-based” billing.

Here’s how these stocks reacted to the news and ended the week:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $422.40, up $4.37, or 1.05%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $426.70.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ): VZ shares recently traded at $38.33, down $0.11, or 0.29%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $32.28 to $40.48.

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): T shares recently traded at $29.68, down $0.28, or 0.93%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $27.20 to $31.94.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S): S shares recently traded at $2.19, down $0.05, or 2.23%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $2.10 to $6.45.