Apple Takes Biggest Bite of U.S. Wi-Fi Usage
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Apple's iPhone and iPod lead the pack mobile handset Wi-Fi in the U.S. use while Nokia's handsets are dominant worldwide and the Symbian platform is tops in global Wi-Fi activity, according to a just-published report.
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) devices accounted for 29.1 percent of U.S. Wi-Fi Internet access requests in the U.S. for January, with the iPhone claiming 16.8 percent share and the iPod taking 12.3 percent, according to AdMob's January Mobile Metrics Report.
That's a three-fold spike since November 2008, when iPhone users representedjust eight percent of total U.S. requests on Wi-Fi networks and up from three percent in August, according to AdMob reports.
Worldwide requests on Apple devices grew 28 percent between December 2008 and January 2009 to 1.2 billion, with iPod growth outpacing iPhone growth. The iPod now represents 40 percent of Apple device requests, up from 20 percent in September 2008.
The news comes as increased competition among handset players is driving greater connectivity options. Users are eager for faster, dependable Internet access anytime and anywhere. In turn, more reliable Internet access via Wi-Fi and 3G networks is driving user Web activity.
Growing user demand isn't going unnoticed by handset makers. It promptedResearch in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) to launch its second Wi-Fi device, the Curve 8320, last December.
Other new handset developments, such as Google's G1 Android phone, are also playing a part in pushing Wi-Fi forward. The G1, made by HTC, broke into AdMob's top 20 in U.S. Wi-Fi access with the January report.
The G1 is 18th on the list with 0.9 percent share in December. The open source Android platform also now has three percent of Wi-Fi access share in the U.S.
In response, such Wi-Fi growth is driving chipset sales. Recent statistics by the industry group Wi-Fi Alliance reported sales grew 26 percent in 2008. While that's only half of sales tallied in 2007, before the slowdown in the economy, it shows that Wi-Fi networking remains robust.
Devices in play in the U.S.
When it comes to mobile devices accessing Wi-Fi in the U.S., Motorola models came in second behind Apple, accounting for total of 19.3 percent. The handset maker's RAZR V3 had 5.9 percent, its Z6M device holds 3.5 percent, the KRZR K1 owns three percent and the W385 handset accounts for 2.6 percent.
Samsung follows in third place with 15 percent total. Its total is includes the R450 device with two percent, the M800 with 1.8 percent and the R210 with 1.6 percent.
While Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices accounted for 6.3 percent Wi-Fi requests in the U.S., right behind LG's 6.4 percent, the BlackBerry 8300 and 8100 beat out Samung's handsets with 2.8 percent and 2.3 percent share, respectively.
Worldwide Wi-Fi stats
In terms of worldwide smartphone Wi-Fi device access, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) leads with 43 percent, Apple is in second place with 32 percent and RIM attained 9 percent. HTC owns five percent, Palm has four percent, Danger's handsets grabbed two percent and Samsung has one percent.
Symbian, which Nokia bought last year, leads when it comes to worldwide smartphone platforms and Wi-Fi requests with 44 percent. In second is Apple with 32 percent, RIM is in third with 9 percent, Windows Mobile owns eight percent, Palm has four percent and Hiptop has one percent.
Google's Android platform, which arrived last fall, has attained one percent worldwide share.
But the numbers and players change a bit when it comes to U.S. smartphone device and operating system Wi-Fi requests.
RIM is in second place, behind Apple, with 19 percent, HTC is in third with 10 percent, Palm holds nine percent, Danger handsets own three percent, Samsung has two percent and other platforms account for six percent.
The iPhone is the top U.S. smartphone platform accessing Wi-Fi, with 51 percent. RIM is in second with 19 percent, Windows Mobile holds 14 percent, Palm has eight percent and Hiptop has three percent.
Tied with Hiptop is the Android platform, which also holds three percent share and beat out Symbian which is in last place in the U.S. with one percent.
That should be welcome news to Motorola as the beleaguered handset maker is banking on the open source platform to revive its sagging mobile devices revenue stream in the next few years.