Reports: iPhone subs access Wi-Fi more than Android users

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone users in the U.S. consume almost half of their mobile data content via Wi-Fi networks, compared to around 22 percent for U.S. smartphone users on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, according to new research from comScore. 

According to comScore's "Device Essentials" report, survey results from May show that iPhone users access Wi-Fi/LAN networks for 47.5  percent of all mobile Web pageviews and mobile networks for 52.5 percent of the time. In contrast, Android users access Wi-Fi for Web pageviews 21.7 percent of the time and mobile networks 78.3 percent of the time.

In tablets, the split is even more pronounced, according to comScore. Apple iPad users access Wi-Fi 91.9 percent and mobile networks 8.1 percent, while Android tablet users use Wi-Fi 65.2 percent of the time and mobile networks 34.8 percent of the time.

The comScore findings are backed up by those of Meraki, the cloud networking company. Meraki said that the iPhone is now the most popular Wi-Fi-enabled device, with 32 percent marketshare in terms of consumption. Further, according to Meraki, the average iPad consumes more than 400 percent more Wi-Fi data than the average Android, iPod touch and iPhone.

Meraki's data shows iOS devices growing from 32 percent to 47 percent market share from 2010 to 2011, and Android growing from 1 percent to 11 percent. Meraki anonymously surveyed more than 100,000 randomly-selected devices accessing general use, public, and educational Wi-Fi networks across the U.S. The survey looked at bandwidth usage and operating system popularity over selected periods in 2010 and 2011.

ComScore and Meraki did not provide an explanations for why iPhone and iPad Wi-Fi usage is so much higher than Android. However there are several plausible reasons why the split is so sharp, including AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) usage-based data plans and extensive Wi-Fi network.

For more:
- see this comScore release
- see this Meraki release
- see this AllThingsD article

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