Chances are, if you have a smartphone, you consume a lot of data. But did you know that the way users take data differs hugely on iOS and Android? On iPhones, users tend to use their Wi-Fi connection much more often, while on Android users just rely on their carrier data and shockingly few turn to Wi-Fi networks, according to the latest study by comScore.
Only 32% of US Android users rely on Wi-Fi networks to get on the web, while the overwhelming majority of 68% use solely their carrier’s connection. Shocking as this is, we’re also surprised to see that on iOS, users who only use carrier service amount to nearly a third in the States, or 29%.
Those results are for the US where unlimited data and all-you-can-eat plans are not a rarity. In the UK, in contrast, where people usually have tiered data plans, the situation is different and consumers often turn to Wi-Fi networks to fit into their carrier data limits. But generally, the trend for Android users to use less Wi-Fi remains.
"In the U.K., 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," comScore analyst Serge Matta explained.
Those are eye-opening results showing that much of our mobile data needs are met with the current 3G technologies. We imagine that the stats will change even more towards carrier data when 4G LTE gets wider adoption, but there’s always the problem of data caps.
Also, some carriers like AT&T offer a huge hotspot network, so users are encouraged to get on Wi-Fi more often. And, as we know, there are most iPhones on AT&T, so this also partly explains the trend. What do you think is the reason Android users are less likely to turn to Wi-Fi networks?
Chart: Mobile and Wi-Fi Internet Connection Activity Across iOS and Android Smartphone Platforms in the U.S. and U.K. (Feb-2012)Description: A U.S. analysis of Wi-Fi and mobile Internet usage across unique smartphones on the iOS and Android platforms reveals that 71 percent of all unique iPhones used both mobile and Wi-Fi networks to connect to the Internet, while only 32 percent of unique Android mobile phones used both types of connections. A further analysis of this pattern of behavior in the U.K. shows consistent results, as 87 percent of unique iPhones used both mobile and Wi-Fi networks for web access compared to a lower 57 percent of Android phones. Source: comScore Device Essentials, February 2012Tags: 3G, Wi-FiAuthor: comScorecharts powered by iCharts