Mobile consumption of Wi-Fi is on the rise as consumers become increasingly mobile, according to a new report by JiWire.
Overall, the number of mobile devices accessing Wi-Fi hotspots grew by 79 percent in the first half of this year. While the iPhone and iPod Touch remain the most popular Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices, collectively representing 97.8 percent of all mobile device connections, the Palm Pre launched as the fifth most popular mobile device in June 2009, just within the first three months of its introduction.
When looking specifically at the online audience in cafes and coffee shops the findings indicate that people tend to use these places as the extended "home office" or "college library" with 83 percent of users connecting locally in their own neighborhood.
Additionally, 40 percent are business decision makers with management titles, 23 percent have C-level or VP titles, and 44 percent are in small-to mid-sized businesses.
The caf Wi-Fi audience also reported that 38 percent make an online purchase during their visit and 77 percent are in the market to make a major purchase in the next 12 months. Purchasing plans in the next 12 months include:
- 48 percent intend to buy a new smart phone
- 54 percent plan to travel more than once on at least a week-long vacation
- 28 percent plan to buy a new laptop
- 24 percent plan to buy a car
"The findings completely challenge the assumption that this is a task-oriented audience just checking e-mail or doing work. Instead, they’re fully engaging the internet when on the go – using social networks, researching products, and actively buying goods and services," said Kevin McKenzie, CEO of JiWire.
"As people increasingly spend more time out of the home and out of the office, we look forward to sharing continued insights to help marketers better understand this hard to reach mobile audience."