iPhone Trumps Android for Wi-fi Usage

iPhone users in the US are more than twice as likely to connect to the internet via wi-fi than Android users, according to new statistics from comScore. The company used census-level behavioural data from comScore Device Essentials to analyse the share of unique smartphones connecting to operator and wi-fi networks in the UK and the US. 

In the US, 71 per cent of all unique iPhones used both mobile and wi-fi networks to connect to the internet, while only 32 per cent of unique Android phones used both types of connections. In the UK, the figures were closer, but the iPhone still led the way, with 87 per cent of unique iPhones using both mobile and wi-fi networks for web access, compared to 57 per cent of Android phones.

The comScore analysis also revealed that 69 per cent of total unique smartphones in the UK  browsed the internet via both mobile and wi-fi network connections, compared to just 38 per cent of US unique smartphones. US smartphones on the AT&T network were more likely to use wi-fi than those on other major operator networks, ost likely due to AT&T having both a greater iPhone market share and the largest wi-fi hotspot network in America. In the UK, smartphones on the Vodafone, O2 and Orange networks were more likely to use wi-fi than those on other UK operators.

“The difference in mobile and wi-fi network usage across the US and UK suggests that there are a few factors at play affecting wi-fi utilization rates,” says Serge Matta, comScore president of operator and mobile solution. “In the UK, the scarcity of unlimited data plans and higher incidence of smartphone pre-paid contracts with a pay-as-you-go data model likely contributes to data offloading among users wanting to economize their mobile usage. In addition, the current lack of high-speed data networks in the UK might also lead users to seek out higher bandwidth capacity on wi-fi networks.

“In the US, the increased availability of LTE, 4G and other high-speed data networks currently make it less necessary for smartphone users to offload, but it’s also possible that the diminishing availability of unlimited cellular data plans will eventually push more usage to wi-fi.”