I have suspected this for a long time but now a study conducted by Comscore in the US and UK shows that iPhone users are significantly more likely to use Wi-Fi than Android users. According to Comscore, in the US, “71 percent of all unique iPhones used both mobile and Wi-Fi networks to connect to the Internet, while only 32 percent of unique Android mobile phones used both types of connections. A further analysis of this pattern of behavior in the UK shows consistent results, as 87 percent of unique iPhones used both mobile and Wi-Fi networks for web access compared to a lower 57 percent of Android phones.”
What could be the reason for this? I think many people who bought Android smartphones use them mostly for voice and SMS, not for web browsing, email or apps. Recently, in Singapore I bought an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Mini (which runs on Android) because I needed a phone that I could use with prepaid SIM cards on my travels. I expected to use the Samsung Galaxy Mini’s Android apps whenever I was on Wi-Fi network, but to my surprise, I did not. I found the phone’s interface more difficult to use than the iPhone’s; touch-screen typing is more difficult and I make more mistakes than on an iPhone. The virtual keyboard on the Samsung Galaxy Mini is terrible. In all, the Samsung Galaxy Mini is frustrating to use as a smartphone. For voice and texting, it’s just fine. And that’s all I use it for. (Supplementary reading: Why I Dumped My iPhone)
Here’s another interesting finding from the Comscore study: UK smartphone owners use Wi-Fi even more than US smartphone owners. Comscore believes the reason is in the UK unlimited data plans are not as available as in the US and many UK smartphone users have prepaid data plans. This means UK users must carefully watch their data use and therefore, try to use their smartphones on Wi-Fi networks whenever they get a chance. As American carriers begin putting caps on data use, one can expect US smartphone users to seek out Wi-Fi networks as often as possible, too.