Wi-Fi Cafe Users Love Apple and Like to Spend

iStock_000001567953XSmallWhile you’re enjoying a cup of joe in a local cafe, the folks sitting around you typing on their laptops and smartphones could very well be purchasing something online. Nearly 38 percent of people who use a cafe’s Wi-Fi say they make an online purchase during their visit, according to the findings of a report released today from mobile media company JiWire. Of those, more than half say they’re making a personal buy, while just 15 percent say they’re making a business purchase.

In addition, the iPhone and iPod touch are hugely popular with the cafe crowd, the report reveals. The two Apple (s appl) devices account for a whopping 98 percent of mobile gadgets used in cafes with Wi-Fi. About 54.2 percent and 43.4 percent of people using Wi-Fi in a cafe say they use the iPhone and iPod touch, respectively. (For more on the iPhone, check out our upcoming Mobilize 09 conference.) And although 74 percent of the cafe Wi-Fi crowd use PC laptops, over one-quarter are Mac users — which is notable given that Apple accounts for just 7.4 percent of the U.S. market share for notebooks. To boost its share even more, maybe Apple should target cafe goers in the future. Though it’s partnered with Starbucks (s sbux) before for iTunes promotions, Apple could try coming up with a clever campaign tied in with the coffee chain to boost MacBook sales.

Other notable statistics in the JiWire report are:

  • The first half of this year saw 9 percent growth in worldwide public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • As of June, the U.S. had the highest number of public Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide (67,420), followed by China (28,678) , U.K. (27,459) , France (25,619) and Russia (14,499).
  • New York had the highest number of public Wi-Fi hotspots out of all U.S. cities (887) as of June. San Francisco (872) came in second, and Chicago (792) trailed behind in third. Stacey’s hometown of Austin, Texas, (417) rounded out the list by taking the 10th slot.
  • 85 percent of Wi-Fi cafe users connect to the web at least once a week, and 68 percent stay connected for over an hour.
  • 53 percent of Wi-Fi cafe users say they go to social media sites during their visits.

Facebook, MySpace (s nws) and Twitter may want to start reaching out to large chains such as Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee (s peet). Thanks to Wi-Fi’s growing ubiquity, more people are choosing to stare at their computer screens in places other than their homes or offices.