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question for iPhone users

Posts: 416
Reputable Member
Topic starter

Every once in a while, I actually look at our AT&T bill, and today happened to be one of those times. I noticed that every single morning between 2:00am and 2:30am, there is a large amount of data being sent from the phone. The size ranges from 400KB to 7600KB (which is enormous), and in the "to / from" column of the bill where the phone number is usually listed, is just says "phone". Is anyone else experiencing this? Is this the phone sending data to AT&T for some reason? I'd love to hear your comments!


Posted : June 1, 2010 2:29 pm
Posts: 2552
Famed Member

I looked at my AT&T bill and they don't breakdown my calls in or out, unless they are long distance.

Posted : June 1, 2010 3:59 pm
Posts: 137
Estimable Member

I guess they get to your phone before mine; my data dumps tend to be at 0255, but they're there. I have to assume this is ATT doing a backup.

Posted : June 1, 2010 4:07 pm
Posts: 34
Eminent Member

Hey Lisa,

This has been an ongoing bugaboo with iPhone users for quite sometime. I've been looking into it for a while. We have 3 iPhones in the family and all of us have data transfers in the wee hours of the mornings, pretty much every morning. They vary in time from around midnight until 3 am or so, as well as size of the transfer.

From what I've gathered so far (bear in mind this information has been gathered from numerous threads on the Internet):
1. Even though it states sent on the bill, the data might also be received.
2. Explanations for the "phantom" usage ranges from Safari updating it's phishing database overnight, to mobile me synching, to applications notifications updating.
3. There was a thread on a Mac Forums site a while back ago, where someone stated that the iPhone is set to do some background activity when it is in sleep mode, and charging. I have yet to re-find that thread.
4. There is no definitive answer on any of the AT&T forums, nor iPhone forums, that I have run across, that adequately explains the mystery data transfers.

Some suggestions from the various sites recommend turning off data roaming (which I leave in the off position - I travel and would rather not pay the excessive data rates by accidentally forgetting to switch data roaming off on an international trip). They also recommend setting email to manual. I use an exchange server for my email. It took me a while to get those settings to work correctly, and would rather not mess with them again 🙂 Another site suggests deleting all apps from the iPhone to see if the data transfers stop. If it does, they recommend putting them back on, one at a time to find the offending app. I have about 150 apps, which would take quite sometime to add on, one at a time. The same thing could probably be accomplished by turning Notifications off in the Settings menu. And finally, turning the iPhone off at night, while it is charging should do the trick. But if you are like me, my iPhone is my only phone. I use it for home and office, so I don't feel comfortable leaving it off at night.

I'd also be curious to see if anyone else has any better clue as to what is going on.

Take care,


Posted : June 1, 2010 4:42 pm
Posts: 416
Reputable Member
Topic starter

jefgar - This "data dump" would be the phone automatically getting rid of the garbage that it doesn't need anymore? Is this something that's pre-programmed into the phone?


Posted : June 1, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 416
Reputable Member
Topic starter

Thanks, Tim! That was very helpful. And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one this is happening to. Since the company pays for the cell plan we have, it's certainly not a cost issue, but rather a safety one. I would hate to think that my phone is sending personal data somewhere into cyberspace every night. And, like you, turning it off is not an option, nor is deleting all the apps.


Posted : June 1, 2010 4:49 pm
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