The smartphone market has really taken over in the past five years. Everywhere you go now, there’s someone on a smartphone. Whether they are making a phone call, texting, or browsing the web. We are all doing it. Even when we shouldn’t be. When it comes to flying, whether it be across the country or around the world, many of us take Android with us. According to a study from Gogo – who is responsible for the inflight WiFi available on most aircraft these days – Android accounts for “more than twice” the other smartphone OS on planes these days. Even though you see mostly iPhones in the airport, it appears that there are still more Android devices around.
Their study also showed that many travelers select their flights based on WiFi availability while in-flight. Stating that outside of North America, about 86% of travelers say they want in-flight connectivity, while inside North America, it’s 75%. With wireless in-flight entertainment, globally it’s 76% and in the US and Canada it’s 67%. Pretty astounding to see that everyone wants to be connected while flying around the world. Although maybe not too surprising, considering how much Internet has taken over our lives. Gogo also notes here that about 90% of passengers board a flight with at least one WiFi enabled device. This means that there are still around 10% that don’t have smartphones. A pretty large percentage when you think about it.
Gogo’s chief commercial officer, Ash ElDifrawi, stated that “the need for ubiquitous connectivity is no secret.” Adding that there are “very few places on earth today that people can’t connect and the plane is really the last frontier.” And even now, we’re seeing more and more flights that are flying internationally, getting WiFi on-board. Although there are some restrictions – like no WiFi over Russia and China – it’s still available for the majority of your flight.
While in-flight internet may be slow – actually it’s really slow – Gogo has been working to improve that as well. While we won’t see 100Mbps speeds anytime soon, in the air, it’ll still be nice to get something higher than just a few megabits.