Wi-Fi Usage Up 240% on Mobile Devices Over Q2 2011

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

In its Q2 Mobile Audience Insights Report, San Francisco-based JiWire, a location-based mobile advertising company, examines the rapid increase in connected device usage, location-based and social tagging trends and connected device adoption.

Key highlights include:

  • Wi-Fi usage has grown by 240% on smartphones, laptops and tablets since Q2 2011;
  • 52% of on-the-go moms own a tablet;
  • 62% of consumers location-tag their social sharing posts;
  • Android continues to gain momentum in the U.K. with a 7.6% gain in market share for the second consecutive quarter.

Constant connectivity on is vital to on-the-go consumers and it’s apparent in the way they are connecting. In Q2, JiWire’s Insights reports has tracked a significant increase in Wi-Fi usage over the past year, punctuated by a shift in usage from laptops to smartphones and tablets:

In Q2 2012, mobile devices represented 52% of total Wi-Fi usage with laptops making up the remaining 48% of usage. Compared to this time last year, smartphones and tablets only represented 30%of total Wi-Fi usage.

“Consumers are becoming increasing connected and comfortable – if not somewhat dependent – on using both Wi-Fi and mobile apps on their smartphones and tablet.” says David Staas, interim CEO of JiWire.

It seems that moms have become more tech savvy as they embrace tablets. Respectively, tablet ownership is highest amongst parents with 52% of Moms (women with children) and 44% of Dads (men with children) own tablets. That’s higher than the 42% of men and 40% of women without children who own mobile devices, who own tablets.

Universities, libraries and hotels are the most likely places to find on-the-go consumers using laptops; on-the-go consumers are more likely to use smartphones in restaurants, cafes and shopping malls; and tablets are more likely to be used at shopping malls and hotels.

Social sharing, of course, has become much more prevalent. With the rise of social sharing on mobile devices, 62% of on-the-go consumers tag their social sharing post. More specifically: 91% of on-the-go consumers use Facebook, of which 88% location tag their posts on a monthly basis or more frequently. As well, 51% reported using Instagram, with 31% location-tagging their posts on the app.

In terms of why they location-tag, 59% location-tag posts in order to notify family and friends of their travels and experiences; about one-third of users location-tag their posts or photos in attempt to connect with others nearby, or because the application automates it or makes it easy for the user to do so.

Parents are more likely to location-tag their posts with 64% doing so, compared to 58% of people without children.

In Q2 2012, the Android operating continues to gain market share in the U.K. driven, in part, by the rapid adoption of Android-based devices such as the Samsung Galaxy models. Additionally, the U.S. and U.K. both saw a drop in market share with the iOS, but in both cases, it still holds the No. 1 ranking. RIM-based devices saw an increase in market share in the UK, as well.

4G devices have become more prevalent in the Top 10 Devices. The Epic 4G and Droid Razr 4G entered the Top 10 for the first time to join the Evo 4G. The Nook and Samsung Galaxy SII also see market share gains along with the Kindle fire.

Worldwide public Wi-Fi locations continue to grow in the second quarter of 2012. The quarterly growth of 12.2% from Q1 2012 to Q2 2012 marked the first double digit increase since Q3 2011.

JiWire’s Mobile Audience Insights Report is based on data from approximately 315,000 public Wi-Fi locations.. The report surveyed nearly 1,400 U.S. customers randomly selected across JiWire’s Wi-Fi Media Channel from April-to-June, 2012.

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