For Wi-Fi, PCs and Macs are Now a Minority

By  |  Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm

It’s a big week for interesting stats relating to Internet usage breakdowns by device. Comscore has released numbers that say that the iPad accounts for 97 percent of tablet usage on the Web–no shocker there. And cloud networking company Meraki has published some data based on device usage numbers from its customers networks:

Whenever I look at numbers like these, I try to remind myself that we don’t know how precisely they map to the world at large. But they’re still fun to ponder.


  • In 2010, at least 64 percent of Wi-Fi users were using traditional computers–Windows PCs and Macs. In 2011, that’s down to 36 percent. 58 percent of Wi-Fi users are on mobile devices–iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, and Android devices.
  • In 2010, a slight majority (53 percent) of Wi-Fi users were on Apple devices. In 2011, that’s up to 60 percent. Only 23 percent are on Windows.
  • Android accounted for a measly one percent last years; in 2011, it’s a meaty 11 percent.
  • iPad users consume 400 percent as much Wi-Fi data on average as owners of Android handsets, iPhones, and iPod Touches. That’s presumably at least in part because a sizable percentage of iPad owners have Wi-Fi-only models, whereas all iPhone owners and most Android handset users can also get data over cellular networks. (I also imagine that iPads get far more use at home than phones do.)

I was startled to see Windows account for only 23 percent of Wi-Fi usage given that the vast majority of PCs on the planet run it. But many of those Windows machines are desktops, and desktops are far less likely to be on Wi-Fi than notebooks are.

In case you’re curious, here are current stats for device usage here at Technologizer. (These are visits to a blog, so it’s an entirely different sort of data than Meraki’s figures for Wi-Fi usage by device–which is why my breakdown bears little resemblance to Meraki’s breakdown.)

  • Windows: 52 percent of visits (54 percent of these visits were via Windows 7)
  • Mac OS X: 25 percent
  • iPhone: 8 percent
  • iPad: 8 percent
  • Android: 4 percent
  • Other: 3 percent
  • iPod: 1 percent




Read more: , , , , , ,

7 Comments For This Post

  1. @hongbui Says:

    fascinating data. many thanks!!!

  2. N8nNC Says:

    Makes me wonder if the PC count includes a bunch of computers no one uses anymore.

  3. The_Heraclitus Says:

    No, otherwise they wouldn't be counted as they wouldn't show up.

  4. @HyperX23 Says:

    Shows the ignorance of Apple-sheep. The reason for the heavy WiFi use comes with the fact that there's an increasing amount of WiFi hotspots and nearly everyone carries a smartphone nowdays but not everyone carries a laptop necessarily. Furthermore Apple's miniscule data plan only allows for a few hundred megabytes of data making WiFi use much more valueable as it doesn't require the use of their cellular service. There's a lot of iPhone owners and people buy them without really knowing why they want one other than the fact that their friends have them too.

  5. Harry McCracken Says:

    For the record, Apple doesn't set data caps, carriers do. (Wi-Fi is obviously a good way to deal with capped plans–no matter who manufactured the phone you carry.)


  6. The_Heraclitus Says:

    "For Wi-Fi, PCs and Macs are Now a Minority"

    Wi-Fi ( /ˈwaɪfaɪ/) is a wireless standard for connecting electronic devices. A Wi-Fi enabled device such as a personal computer, video game console, smartphone, and digital audio player can connect to the Internet when within range of a wireless network connected to the Internet.

    How can they tell that my PC uses a home wifi network as opposed to a wired LAN?

  7. larzze Says:

    Yah really wi-fi changing the world IT, but Desktops are not using much wi-fi connections.
    sql consultancy