Mobile data analysis firm Arieso examined more than 1 million smartphone users on European 3G networks over a 24 hour period to gauge data demand.
It found that newer smartphones, tablets and devices that fall in between in terms of screen size and capability, dubbed "phablets", were creating ever growing demands for data, putting increasing pressure on 3G mobile networks.
"One iPhone 5 user is effectively worth about 4 iPhone 3G users," report author Michael Flanagan said in an interview.
The study also found iPhone 5 users demanded 50 percent more data than iPhone 4S users, who were the most demanding a year ago, he said.
The amount of data uploaded to services like social networking sites had also increased, he said, and it was now one sixth of the amount of data downloaded against one seventh a year ago.
Samsung's Galaxy SIII smartphone, edged ahead of the iPhone 5 in terms of the average amount of data generated and uploaded by the device, for example in posting a photograph to Facebook.
© Thomson Reuters 2012