updated 08:00 pm EDT, Wed September 21, 2011
Boingo points to iOS helping mobile overtake PC
Apple's devices have been largely responsible for driving the rises in Wi-Fi traffic at airports, Boingo found on Wednesday. As of mid-2011, smartphones and tablets had become the dominant choice on Boingo at 58.9 percent, boosting overall traffic five times higher than it existed in 2007. iOS devices were the core of that surge and represented 83.1 percent of all the mobile hardware on the network.
Despite market share trends elsewhere, Apple was gaining in the area and mostly just shifting focus to different devices. The iPhone was now slightly up as the most common device at 42.1 percent, with the iPad (23.5 percent) and iPod touch (17.5 percent) next. Android's market share gains were only partially mirrored here as, while it had tripled share over 2010, was still distant at 11.3 percent.
Boingo didn't have an answer for why Apple had such an unusually large command of airport Wi-Fi other than the "exponential growth" of iPhones and iPads. Apple's much higher share of tablets has played a part. iPhone share is less explainable and might relate to a higher ratio of travelers being in older demographics. Nielsen and others have typically shown iPhone owners more likely to be in their late 20s or older and thus with the jobs, incomes, and families that would demand more flights.