When it comes to surfing the Web at an altitude of 30,000 feet, airline passengers taking advantage of in-flight WiFi are turning to tablets and smartphones, with Apple's iOS platform the most popular, according to a report from in-flight connectivity and wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions specialist Gogo.
Tablets and smartphones combined now make up 67 percent of the devices being used to connect to the Internet through Gogo's in-air network. The report found tablets are the preferred devices, at 35 percent, followed closely by notebooks (33 percent) and smartphones (32 percent).
Among all devices being used to connect through Gogo, 84 percent carry Apple's iOS operating system and 16 percent carry the Android operating system. Whether they're surfing with smartphones or tablets, Apple devices in general still reign supreme above the clouds, with the iPad being the device of choice to connect in air.
The iPhone accounts for 73 percent and Android devices make up 26 percent, with BlackBerry and Windows-based devices each making up less than 1 percent of the devices being used to connect in air, according to the report. When it comes to Apple devices, 59 percent of passengers connect using the iPad, 36 percent connect using the iPhone and 5 percent connect using the iPod Touch.
"We've certainly seen air travelers rapidly adopt the tablet as the device of choice when it comes to air travel. Their smaller size and better battery life make them perfect for use in flight," Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo chief commercial officer, said in a statement. "Apple continues to dominate when it comes to the flying public; however, Android devices have seen significant gains in the past two years, increasing from 3.2 percent of the operating systems used to connect through Gogo in 2011 to 16 percent."
The data, compiled through surveys of Gogo users and using internal data compiled from the more than 35,000 average daily in-air connectivity sessions across more than 1,800 Gogo equipped aircraft, indicated Web surfing is the top general activity for connected passengers.
Besides Web surfing, passengers spend their time in-flight accessing personal email, engaging in social media, checking sports scores and shopping. Business travelers ranked accessing their work email and finalizing reports as the most frequent activity above the clouds. The report also indicated passengers also use in-flight wireless connections to explore their final destination's weather, entertainment options and directions upon their arrival.