Data Monday: iPad Mobile Connections

by Luke Wroblewski March 25, 2012

Though many people label tablet computers as "mobile" devices, how they are used today tells a different story. One indication that tablets aren't that mobile (beyond the home) is when they are being used. Another is how many are being connected to mobile networks.

  • In 2011, over 60% of Apple's first-wave iPad 2's were thought to be 3G models. (source)
  • In 2011, eBay sales figures showed 61% of iPad 2's sold were WiFi only models. (source)
  • A year later, 9 out of 10 tablets sold in the United States were WiFi models. (source)
  • 90% of the tablets in the United States use WiFi to get online though some have inactivated cellular chipsets. (source)
  • Only 6% of iPad sessions are via a cellular network. (source)
  • 8.8% of iPads are 3G enabled but 55% of their sessions were on WiFi and 45% on 3G. (source)
  • 1.5% of iPads are 4G enabled but 64% of their sessions were on WiFi and 36% on 3G. (source)

Note: I realize cellular network connections are only one measure of "mobility". The other set of data I reference above highlights when tablets are being used and shines some additional light on the situation. In additional studies tablet owners said 30% of their time spent with their device was while watching TV and 21% lying in bed.