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Tablet Users Prefer Wi-Fi Over 3G

Tablet WifiMore than a year and a half after the iPad was introduced, the tablet market is growing by the second. Currently, there is no shortage of options: Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Transformer Prime, iPad 2. Thanks to their larger, more immersive touch screens, productivity capabilities and convenient portability, they offer an entirely different experience when compared to phones and computers, and more and more consumers are taking notice.

Let’s face it, they’ve become the go-to devices for playing games and consuming media. But as more tablets get scooped up, a disparity is emerging that reveals more tablet owners are opting for Wi-Fi-only versions, spurning the heftier-priced 3G options.

As of October 2011, 65 percent of tablet users went with Wi-Fi-only models, according to Connected Intelligence (CI), growing 5 percent since April of the same year. Eddie Hold, CI vice president, explains that there are a number of reasons for greater WiFi reliance.

Concern over the high cost of cellular data plans is certainly an issue, but more consumers are finding that Wi-Fi is available in the majority of locations where they use their tablets, providing them ‘good enough’ connectivity. In addition, the vast majority of tablet users already own a smartphone, which fulfills the ‘must have’ connectivity need.

In addition, Hold acknowledged the fact that newer tablets, such as the Kindle Fire, don’t even provide cellular connectivity, no doubt to keep cost down to compete with Apple’s iPad.

The results are unsurprising, and it makes one wonder if the numbers will change once LTE tablets start hitting the market. As CI points out, early tablet adopters went for 3G options to “future proof” their devices, but with Wifi seemingly everywhere, users likely aren’t needing cellular service as much as they anticipating.

Which option do you prefer?

[BizJournals, via ConnectedIntelligence]

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...