Contrary to the popular perception that Wi-Fi networks are primarily used by computer and laptop users, a study has now found that it is instead the smartphone users who were using the facility more than the former.
The WiFi usage data of the USA has been gathered by Meraki, a cloud management company for businesses, and was first reported by Gigaom.
In the first six months of 2010, Windows and Mac computers made up 64 per cent of the devices connected with the Wi-Fi networks in the USA monitored by Meraki. In the same period in 2011, computers made up just 36 per cent of devices connected with the WiFi networks.
Though it’s not expected that Meraki data would be applicable across the world, but the trend of increasing smartphone popularity cannot be missed.
Apple’s iOS devices counted for 36 per cent of all the devices connected to WiFi last year and its share increased to 47 per cent in the first half of 2011. Android devices came out of almost nowhere at 11 per cent Wi-Fi connectivity. The Meraki data monitored about 100,000 devices connected to Wi-Fi networks across US.
The dividing line between computers and mobile devices is getting thinner with the day, which shouldn’t come as a surprise when smartphones and tablets are getting increasingly popular. Almost everybody seems to own a Wi-Fi connected smartphone and the tablets are anyway seen more as an alternative to netbook or even the regular laptop.
Since Wi-Fi networks are available at public places as well, it makes sense for the users to use their smartphones there, as using laptops would be a cumbersome process. It’s not that the number of laptops accessing the Wi-Fi networks is not growing, it’s just that the number of smartphones is growing at a bigger rate.
Even in India, apart from regular smartphones, there are many feature phones which connect to Wi-Fi and even come for as little as Rs 6,000. These include Lava B8, Samsung Chat 355, Akai Connect Book, Micromax X560 and Spice QT 68.
It won’t be much of a surprise if we see a repeat of the same trend in India as well.