Android Grows, But Apple Still Dominates Airport Wi-Fi Networks

If you're in an airport and using the public Wi-Fi, chances are you are reading this post on your smartphone or tablet. And for 83 per cent of you, this mobile device is either an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

According to data compiled by Boingo Wireless, the company behind 60 airport hotspots and over 400,000 public hotspots worldwide, a dwindling number of users (41 per cent) pull out their laptop at public hotspots, while most (59 per cent) use a smartphone or a tablet.

This is a complete 180 from 2008 when the majority of people (88.5 per cent) were rocking laptops and a small minority (11 per cent) were cruising the internet using a mobile device.

And it's iOS that rules the mobile roost on Boingo's wireless network. Yes, the data shows that Android devices have tripled in number over the last year, but its 11 per cent share pales in comparison to the 83 per cent commanded by the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

So what are people doing with their mobile devices on these public Wi-Fi hotspots? Boingo thinks most people are streaming music and video because data usage by mobile devices is skyrocketing. In 2011, users are pulling down 0.89MB of data per minute, up from a measly 0.37 MB in 2009. A little less than a megabyte per minute is not a lot, but it may be enough to secretly watch Rebecca Black on your iPhone while you wait for your plane. [Boingo Wireless]



    so to me this says that Android phones may sell more units in a give period of time, but once those units are sold, hardly anyone who owns one uses it at these hot spots..unlike iOS devices which are used at a much higher rate per hot-spot...

    again.. this is the difference between an OS that works out of the box (iOS in case you couldn't guess) versus an OS that is tweakable right out of the box (android for those who aren't following along) but proves much less integrated in peoples lives.

    taking into consideration all the android fans screaming how many bazillion units are sold over and above the i-line products, then this survey says to me that Android truly isn't as usable as iOS.

    Let the rabid Andriod rebuke begin, but my point still stands

      Methinks comment system glitched and won't let me post now, but here you go
      2009 - Apple takes 91.7%
      2010 - Apple takes 90.6%
      2011 - Apple takes 83.1%

        Oh, those aren't sales stats btw, those are off the figures on this page of people connecting to wifi networks at airports. By the looks of it android is growing fast, very fast.

        Let the typically uneducated Apple fanboi responses begin

          Android is growing very quickly, though in the numbers quoted above, iPad sales increased exponentially more than either Android phones or iphones

          it would be interesting to see these stats in another two years

            Do you even know what 'exponentially' means? lol

            But you're right, it would be very interesting to see these stats in another year or two.

          you would have thought faster though given the popularity of android devices. I'm with Rooboy, most people just can't work out how to use their android device.

      "then this survey says to me that Android truly isn’t as usable as iOS"

      Really? This survey says to ME that Apple users typically arrive at airports WAAAAY too early have have to entertain themselves while they wait for their flights.

      If you're not running through the terminal to catch your plane, you're doing it wrong #]

      What a load of silliness.

      iOS devices introduced the mass-market to smartphones. What you have here are mostly people who would not before be using ANY sort of device on wifi. The stats show a large representation because iphones were the first mass-market smartphones, they already have market share in this sector, which is slowly declining.

      The data indicates nothing about usability or anything else, that is just fantasy and supposition.

      Or you know, Android users are smart enough to not trust public Wi-Fi.

      That's the dumbest thing I've ever read. This survey says that IOS devices are used at airport hotpots more than Android ones. It takes a hell of a lot of mental acrobatics to infer anything else.

      I know when I'm at the airport, I just use my phone's (IP4) network, just as I would if I was using anything else. I know that the people I travel with do exactly the same thing. This number greatly represented by the number of Wi-Fi only devices, where tablets (specifically the Ipad) dominate. Hence why the 89% figure is analogous to the iPad's tablet marketshare.

      But hey, keep up the conspiracy theories buddy.

      Rooboy - Out of the box setup? Android is so much easier for this.
      Also when i'm at airports with my android devices i don't bother to link onto the wireless at airports because my "out of the box" g3 connection just too easy. So I won't show up on any of these stats.

      I love tweeking my Android buy my gf (non technical) and my friends I have recommended Android to love there phones and have never needed me to tweek or change the out of box setup, And they never have had to setup an itunes account either. I think you might need to get some facts straight.

        Sorry not offering for people to buy my gf as i love her too much, I meant to say "but my gf".
        Need more coffee this morning.

    This may also have something to do with those figures. Old(er) people are 'demographically' more likely to hold higher up positions in companies, requiring them to transit through airports more frequently.

    On most occasions their flights would be prearranged to give them time to kill at the airport, so out comes the iDevice to keep up with things...

    This seems about right to me- iOS devices have the jump on other brands as far as the mass-market goes. They simply have more share over the time periods represented, and this is slowly declining, as you'd expect from the sales data.

    Who uses wifi hotspots anywhere? I always use 3G, even if a wifi hotspot is provided.... The only time I use wifi is when I run Faceniff or Droidsheep and troll on stolen Facebook accounts. And prior to doing that I disable all my own syncing and data to prevent other people doing that exact same thing back to me :P

      Um, at airports, especially international airports it sort of makes sense though, doesn't it? You really like paying for international roaming on 3G data?

    Wow, these comments. So much generalizing and stereotyping.

      Watch out! You might get labeled a fanboy for saying that!

        I get called a fanboy on this site daily. It wouldn't exactly be a new experience.

    Owning a touchpad,windows phone, ipod touch and a galaxy s2 I find that out of the above I would use the galaxy s2 in a heartbeat. But from observation of colleagues and friends, people who own an iOS device are more likely to proudly take it out of their pockets and browse the net and use mobile data whereas the cheaper android phones are best left in peoples pockets as trying to do anything meaningful on them would be painful. Whats needed is a breakdown between well made android phones and cheap chinese phones that suck. Im not bashing android, I think the Galaxy S II shits all over the iPhone 4 but right now comparing the iphone 4 to the HTC desire original or the iphone 3GS to say a HTC Hero and tell me which one is still a good phone and which one is a pile of crap.

      The Hero was great on 1.5 and unusable on 2.1. It made me so angry using it I went and got an iPhone.

      The HTC desire is still an excellent phone- The lack of onboard storage is silly, even if you can put stuff on the SD card, but it's still a well made, smooth, good looking, well functioning piece of gear.

        I hate my HTC Desire S. I'd rather have the wife's iPhone any day of the week. Unfortunately, it's work supplied so I don't have the choice of an all round better functioning product

          The Desire S is a different device. A very different build.
          I don't know all its ins and outs because I've never handled one.

          Having used a few android devices and the iphone 4 and 3 though, I can't imagine there'd be too much of an improvement with your wife's iphone, unless your own Desire S is a particularly singular lemon- all those devices work much the same really(iphones, Androids, etc). All have their own little annoyances and eccentricities, but none really stand up more highly than another.

    God, why can't we have comments that don't go into such childish territory.

    Apple users are dumb, and they arrive at airports too early? Huh? That doesn't even make sense.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now