A study released on Monday found that iPhone users in the U.S. and the U.K. are significantly more likely to utilize Wi-Fi for their data needs than Android users who operate heavily on wireless networks.
According to research firm ComScore’s February Device Essentials study, 71 percent of iPhone users in the U.S. influence both cellular and Wi-Fi networks compared to 32 percent of Android users. The numbers are twisted even more toward Wi-Fi in the U.K. where the share of iOS and Android users utilizing both types of connections comes in at 87 percent and 57 percent, respectively.
Offering some justification as to why the data varies between the two nations, ComScore’s President of Operator and Mobile Solutions Serge Matta said that, “in the U.K., the scarcity of unlimited data plans and higher incidence of smart phone pre-paid contracts with a pay-as-you-go data model likely contributes to data offloading among users wanting to economize their mobile usage.”
He goes on to say that the lack of high speed 4G networks like those in the U.S. might be forcing U.K. users to move to Wi-Fi connections. Matta notes, however, that U.S. users may see a shift toward Wi-Fi as so-called “unlimited” plans collapse to the edge. AT&T recently announced that it would be throttling the speed of grandfathered-in “unlimited data” plans when a user crosses a 3GB threshold.
Breaking down the findings by carrier, iPhone owners on AT&T’s network used Wi-Fi more than any other U.S. carrier because the telecom has both a larger share of Apple’s handset as well as the nation’s largest hotspot network. In the U.K., In the U.K., handsets on Vodafone, Telefonica and Orange networks were found to use Wi-Fi more than those on other U.K. operators’ networks.