Who would have thought that the iPhone would ever surpass Windows 7 machines in terms of Wi-Fi usage? As we become more mobile and increasingly reliant on data, it becomes easier to see why iPhone users would be gobbling up data via Wi-Fi over laptops – we tend to have our phones with us more often.
Having Wi-Fi capabilities on a smartphone has become a requirement these days due network reliability and speeds, convenience and the rising costs of data plans. Having a data plan is standard these days when you buy a smartphone, and they aren’t cheap. Additionally, many plans limit how much data you can use per month, and users have resorted to Wi-Fi in order to offset their network usage.
Cloud networking provider Meraki recently publish a report detailing how mobile devices show up on Wi-Fi networks more often than computers. Using a computer for small things like a web search or checking out Facebook isn’t as convenient as doing it on your smartphone. With smartphones like the iPhone taking over the role of what our computers used to do – checking e-mail, social networking and instant messaging – our PCs have been relegated to the bigger tasks.
“Smartphones and tablets are so much more mobile than laptops; the idea of someone pulling out a laptop in a store to check email, Facebook or prices, it’s very impractical,” said Sekar, director of marketing at Meraki. “What we’re seeing with these mobile devices is it’s practical and enjoyable to do that.”
Just last year, Windows and Mac OS X made up 64 percent of devices that accessed Wi-Fi networks. This left iOS (the iPhone and the iPod touch at the time) accounting for 32 percent while Android was just 1 percent.
This ratio has changed dramatically this year with figures skewing toward mobile handhelds. The iPhone alone took 32 percent of surveyed Wi-Fi usage in America. Android did experience a growth by 1,100%, now taking up 11 percent of all Wi-Fi networks accessed. The report also showed the iPad being the most data intensive device of them all, taking up about 200 Megabytes a month.
It’s clear that the growth of mobile technology is more rapid than the computer industries can handle. This year, smartphones are supposed to make up for 50 percent of all the mobile phones sold in the US. With figures such as these, and the fact that smartphones are poised to outsell PCs this year, statistics like these Wi-Fi figures will become more common than shocking.