Report: Only 44% Of iPhones Using 3G To Surf Web - InformationWeek

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12/18/2008
10:36 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Report: Only 44% Of iPhones Using 3G To Surf Web

Some new metrics were recently made available by AdMob, and an interesting statistic popped up. Wi-Fi is being used by 56% of iPhone users to surf the Web rather than a cellular wireless network. What gives?

Some new metrics were recently made available by AdMob, and an interesting statistic popped up. Wi-Fi is being used by 56% of iPhone users to surf the Web rather than a cellular wireless network. What gives?I almost never use the Wi-Fi on my iPhone. The only times I do are when I want to surf from the couch and plan to download some apps or music from the iTunes Store. When I'm out in the world, I rely on AT&T's wireless network to power my mobile Web surfing. It appears I am in the minority.

AdMob released some figures based on what its servers are delivering to mobile phones surfing the Web. According to AdMob, 8% of mobile Web pages are being delivered via Wi-Fi, not the cellular network in both the U.S and the U.K. For the iPhone, that number leaps to 42% in the U.S. and 56% in the U.K. That means a huge number of people are using the iPhone's Wi-Fi to surf the Web rather than the cellular networks.

Why do you suppose that is?

Looking at the numbers, it isn't a surprise to see fewer people in the U.S. using Wi-Fi when compared with the U.K. The iPhone's unlimited data plan with AT&T means that it doesn't hurt the end user's wallet to browse via the cellular network all day and night. Data plans are a bit more expensive in the U.K., and this could play a role in why the percentage of iPhone users browsing via Wi-Fi is higher.

Trends shows that the use of Wi-Fi to browse the Web from a mobile phone is increasing, and this only makes sense. It is only in the last year or so that Wi-Fi has become widely available on handsets (in the U.S., anyway). Cellular network operators should be happy that users are routing traffic away from their cellular networks and through local access points, instead.

Of course, we can't leave out the fact that browsing via Wi-Fi is often far faster than browsing via the cellular network. I am sure that is reason enough for many to pick Wi-Fi over 3G.

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