Apple devices dominate in-flight Wi-Fi usage

Apple devices dominate in-flight Wi-Fi usage

Gogo, a provider of in-flight Wi-Fi service, has released some information on device usage during flights, revealing that Apple devices remain the most popular with passengers. Tablets and smartphones now make up 67% of all devices connecting to Gogo. Tablets are the single most popular device at 35%, and Apple devices are by far the most popular brand. Gogo says:

Apple devices are still reigning above the clouds, following the tablet trend with the iPad being the device of choice. Among all mobile devices being used to connect through Gogo, 84 percent carry Apple’s iOS operating system while 16 percent carry the Android operating system. If you look only at the smartphones our customers are using, the iPhone makes up 73 percent and all Android devices make up 26 percent, with Blackberry and Windows based devices each making up less than 1 percent of devices being used in air.

The number one activity among passengers using in-flight Wi-Fi was general web browsing, followed by email and social networking. Given that Apple devices, and iOS devices in particular, are the most popular, it’s no surprise that Safari is the most popular browser. It’s worth noting that while Apple still clearly leads in in-flight Wi-Fi usage, Android has made significant gains since 2011, when it was at a low of 3.2% usage.

This is just the latest in many, many metrics reports that show iOS devices get used more than competing devices. Whether that's because they're easier or more enjoyable to use, or because the types of people most likely to really use mobile devices gravitate towards iOS devices isn't clear.

Any theories on why Apple devices seem to get used so much more than the competition?

Source: Gogo; Image featuring: AirplaneMo.de

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

Apple devices dominate in-flight Wi-Fi usage

7 Comments

I think we need to take this with a grain of salt. Given the cost of using gogo, I think the are a lot more users, and potentially more iOS users that would be, or could be, counted if the cost to sign on were less. I'd use it more if it were not so expensive.

I would at least like to know what the total number of users is these stats are based on. And are they counting signed in users or hits, etc.....

The breakdown seems to be that 23% of total gogo connected devices are iPhones (73% of phones, phones being 35% of total). Apple dominance in the tablet category, also the largest category, is a no brainer - iPad has the undisputed largest part of the tablet pie, gogo or otherwise. And since Safari is on all three platforms - tablet, phone, laptop - another no brainer that it would be the most used browser.

As for a "why Apple?" theory, Internet Explorer as the 2nd most popular browser seems to be the most telling statistic. The only people using Internet Explorer are PC users who aren't using Chrome or FF because they don't know any better, so there's the vast majority of your laptop users. Depending on your flight, it can be a long haul staring at a 3.5" - 4" screen, hence tablet and laptop weighted preference. As a non-Apple user, I always use my ultrabook laptop. If I had an iPad, I'd probably use it as it's the best compromise between screen size and portability.

While it's not really something the layman (let alone iOS user) will immediately realize, but any software performance tester could tell you, that this doesn't tell much.

Doesn't mean there are more iDevices.
Doesn't mean iDevices are more popular.
Doesn't mean iDevice users use them more.

ALL it means is that existing iDevices use more of the bandwidth.
This could be due to there being more of them, or it could also be due to inefficient programing that is making excessive or unnecessary data calls.

You must not have actually read the post. It clearly states that the numbers reflect the percentage of devices connecting to Gogo. There's no mention of how much data is being used.

Sounds more like statistical analysis... or the analysis of the results of a statistical analysis, haha... I also must admit that I now feel acute psychological discomfort resulting from the use of the word "anal" too many times in such a short span of time. I think I just engaged some biological alarm trigger. Hmm. Everyone feeling ok? Good... that's good. Uhm. God, what've I done? Anuseses are bad, clearly. Bad, bad stink holes. If they weren't bad, then they wouldn't be so offensive to people. I mean, here's an example... have you ever just pulled down your pants in the middle of the mall, spread it open for everyone to see, while yelling loudly: "Hey everyone, look! It's my raw arsehole, out in the open! It sure does love the fresh air!" — Why not? Cause it'd offend people! Also, it would lead to you going to jail— a parallel universe where the inhabitants aren't offended by arseholes; in a bizarre "Twilight Zone" thought, they are attracted to them! (Actually, now that I consider it, I think that WAS an episode— but it's real in real life, too. That makes it extra terrifying!)

I think iMore has the best article pictures! The angle and even the sunlight just make things standout! Just an iPhone sitting on say, an iPad with the right tools (iMore magic) makes it look like a true piece of art!