wifi Mobile Marketer covers a report (PDF file link) by “mobile audience media company” JiWire that says consumers are more often using wifi-enabled devices for Internet access on the go. The article claims 56% of consumers who use mobile Internet connect to the Internet via a handset. The report adds that 21% of mobile Internet consumers primarily use “non-laptop” mobile devices (handsets or netbooks) for mobile Internet.

“People are utilizing a tremendous range of devices from laptops to netbooks to e-books when choosing to remain connected while on the go,” said David Staas, senior vice president of marketing at JiWire.

It is interesting to me that Staas said “e-books” given that the only e-book I know of that offers any kind of useful Internet connectivity is the Kindle (I’m not counting the Nook here, since its net access can only be used for downloading e-books), and that device does not currently use wifi at all.

On the other hand, the report itself pictures a Nook on the chart that breaks wifi use down by device (e-book readers come in at 4%, just ahead of cameras at 3%) so perhaps they are not quite so picky as I am.

I will say that I’ve used my iPod Touch a great deal in public wifi locations myself. It’s a great little device for surfing the web, checking and writing short e-mails, and social networking. But I’ve also used my Motorola RAZR2 cell phone for that purpose, and it does not use wifi at all.

The second half of the article talks about the use of mobile devices for on-the-go shopping, with 49% of consumers making mobile on-line purchases and 47% using mobile Internet as their primary purchasing source. Amazon and eBay were mentioned as being among the top destinations (certainly not surprising for those people making on-line purchases through their Kindles).

I was skeptical of those numbers until I clicked through and read the actual report. The article did not go into enough detail about who was surveyed and how for me to understand where they were coming from, but the report makes it clear they are talking about the “On-The-Go Audience”—those people predisposed to use wifi devices extensively on the go—and that makes more sense.

Still, I don’t think I’ve ever made a mobile purchase through my iPod Touch. (Now that I think about it, it’s possible I might once have bought an e-book from Fictionwise that way but I’m not sure enough to say.)

The report itself contains some other interesting figures not reflected in the article, such as the fact that 94.5% of wifi mobile device ad requests come from Apple’s iDevices (51.2% iPod Touch, 43.3% iPhone). This does represent a 2% decrease for Apple from the previous year.

PalmPre and Sony PSP are the next individual device runners up, with 0.6% each, but all Android devices taken together account for 1.6%, a 1% increase from the previous year.

Also, the number of wifi hotspots in the world as a whole and the US continues to grow, with figures for 2009 standing at almost 290,000 and almost 70,000 respectively.


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