12 Comments

Summary:

Smartphones have been getting WiFi love for a while and no doubt the popularity of the Apple iPhone showed many consumers just how useful it is on a phone. There is something liberating about being able to connect to a high-speed hotspot and go online using […]

wifi-logoSmartphones have been getting WiFi love for a while and no doubt the popularity of the Apple iPhone showed many consumers just how useful it is on a phone. There is something liberating about being able to connect to a high-speed hotspot and go online using a phone without having to worry about “minutes” or bandwidth consumed.

Crave is pointing to a recently conducted survey of more than 1,000 mobile phone users and the results are probably surprising to some, but not to me. The survey found that 77 percent of those with WiFi on their smartphones are very happy with it. A full 74 percent of respondents with WiFi state they use it regularly and a whopping 60 percent of those indicated they’ve only had that smartphone for a year.

It’s definitely looking like OEMs forgo WiFi on new smartphone models at their own peril. This is a case of the consumer getting educated on this technology, and once you go WiFi you never go back.

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  1. I pretty much never fire up wifi myself. The data transfers I do happen continously (mail etc) without me having to fiddle with it over the 3G connection and when I ever do surf or do similar things I’m always out and about and don’t have the patience or time to go fishing for open wifi hotspots. Easier to just fire up the browser and get the data over 3G, it’s already on and running.

    Now, I do use the wifi a fair amount when on the run, but then only as a tethering alternative (wmwifirouter), so I’d definitely miss the wifi transmitter… but not for my own interactive use of the phone.

  2. I use WIFI on my iPhone when ever it is available and free. No use burning into my 5gb/month cap when I don’t need to.

  3. I wonder how many of the people who think wifi is a “must” have ever owned a phone with wifi, and how many of them are on a network with extensive 3G coverage.

    My phone has wifi. I’ve only fired it up a couple times, and only for testing it out. If you’re on a good network, wifi is not a necessity, and you really don’t want it on unless you absolutely have to. Wifi sucks the juice like no other.

    1. I guess I misread the post. It looks like a chunk of the people in this poll confirm that they do have wifi on their phone.

      I still wonder how many of them are on a network with solid 3G coverage.

    2. Actually wifi uses less battery than 3G that is why whenever I am at home and at school I use wifi. When the speed and the battery life get better then I think that smartphone makers can ditch the wifi but until then it is a must.

    3. 3G really only sucks a lot of battery if you’re in an area with a weak signal.

  4. I dumped my Palm Treo when the first smartphones with wi-fi came out. Now use the Iphone and find the wi-fi to be a mandatory addition. I use the phone network to get email and such, but when I want to surf the net, I use the free wi-fi. I fully agree that I would not buy any smartphone that left this feature out.

  5. I use WiFi connection more than ever. Now that Skype is available I am sure it will only increase. I also control my server farm with phone via wifi. Totally agree. Once you use Wifi you will never go back to a 3G only phone. Gaming is better via WiFi as well.

  6. I agree with cr0ft; my data usage is exclusively via the cell radio. It’s there, and works without any additional effort. I do use the WiFi radio for tethering other devices.

  7. I’m not really worried about incurring usage charges as I have unlimited internet. What I AM concerned with is battery life on my ATT Tilt (HTC 8925). Using either the GPS or the WiFi on this unit drains the battery within minutes.

  8. I think phone manufacturers are missing a huge market in universities around the country. Most universities (including mine) offer cross-campus WiFi. Because of this, I have no use for a 3G phone. But now, since phone companies require data plans to be purchased with smartphones, they cannot be used just to access the internet via WiFi. I can’t justify paying $30/mo for a data plan that I don’t need. At my school, many students have resorted to buying the iPod Touch for its WiFi capability. It’s $230, but that’s much less than a smartphone if you add up just a few months of paying for the data plan. Hopefully cell companies will ditch their policy of required data plans with smartphones…they might see a boom in smartphones sales among students.

  9. Tom Reestman Friday, July 10, 2009

    Great move by Sprint. It also makes Verizon constant push of only their network stick out even more as a bad move.

    It’s not just about whether you have a good 3G signal. Having WiFi can mean a whole lot more, which I wrote abouthere here.

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