iPhone Users Crave Their Wi-Fi: Study

iPhone Users Crave Their Wi-Fi: Study

December 19, 2008 0 By Amelia Martinez

A study released by mobile ad company Admob shows that as wi-fi becomes nore commonplace among handsets, mobile wi-fi use is accelerating. That trend is no more obvious than among iPhone users, where 42% of Internet requests came via wi-fi rather than AT&T’s 3G wireless network.

According to the study (.PDF), Internet requests via wi-fi for other smartphones average between 10 and 20%.

Why the big difference? I feel it’s the ease of connectivity (by default) to wi-fi networks on the iPhone. Try to browse, and if there’s a wi-fi network around, it’ll ask to connect. And, of course, the iPhone’s UI makes connecting a breeze.

Or perhaps, as some have┬átheorized, it’s because AT&T’s 3G network is still spotty. I’m not so sure it’s quite that simple, though even with the recent firmware fixes, some still report dropped calls and poor connectivity.

Other highlights from the study:

  • In the US, 8 percent of total requests in November were on WiFi networks, up from 3 percent in August. 42 percent of iPhone requests are made from WiFi, notably higher than most other WiFi capable phones which average between 10-20 percent. iPhone WiFi usage is generally higher on iPhone specific sites and applications than on normal mobile sites.
  • In the UK, 8 percent of requests in November were on WiFi networks, up from 4 percent in August. After the iPhone and iPod Touch, the Nokia N95 and other N series phones are the leading WiFi devices.
  • Worldwide requests were flat in November at 5.8 billion. Requests from North America, Western Europe, Latin America, and Eastern Europe each increased more than 10 percent month over month. These increases were offset by a decline in Indonesian inventory.
  • The G1 (HTC Dream) generated 15 million requests in November and already represents 7 percent of all T-Mobile traffic. Android had a 2 percent share of smartphone operating system traffic in the US.

Most, but not all, of the latest and upcoming smartphones support wi-fi. 3G speed cannot compare to connectivity via broadband and wi-fi. Mobile Internet use via wi-fi is therefore going to keep increasing.

One notable exception to the wi-fi enabled smartphone trend, recently introduced, is the BlackBerry Storm. Some have said that was a big mistake, but perhaps the biggest mistake was releasing the device with so many bugs.