Gadgets on Airplanes

Patty TerhuneTech News

It’s no secret that the demand for technology and gadgets is on the rise. We love our computers, tablets, and smartphones. That interest and love in gadgets is not just the domain of the house, car, or work anymore. Increasingly, we are taking our technology to the air, in airplanes. Many airplanes are now equipped with WiFi, giving us Internet access at 30,000 feet while flying along at 500 MPH.

“When it comes to staying connected at 30,000 feet, tablets and smartphones now make up a whopping 67 percent of the devices being used to connect to the Internet through Gogo’s in-air network,” according to Gogo press release. Gogo is an airplane Internet service provider, using satellites to deliver Internet access to airplanes. “Tablets are now the preferred device at 35 percent, followed closely by laptops (33 percent) and smartphones (32 percent),” cites Gogo.

As on land, so it is in the air: Apple devices are quite popular. According to Gogo, Apple devices, including iPads, iPhones, and iPods account for 84% of all devices used for in-flight Internet connectivity. Mobile devices running Google’s Android system account for the remaining 16 percent.

Among Apple’s mobile devices, 59% of air passengers use iPads, 36% use iPhones, and 5% use the iPod touch.

Looking at the data for smartphones only, Gogo found that iPhones represent 73% and Android devices 26%. BlackBerry and Windows-based devices each make up less than 1% of smartphone use while in-flight.

“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,” Gogo CFO Ash ElDifrawi commented.

“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.”

Gogo also examined in-flight mobile device and Internet usage. Web surfing topped the list, with accessing personal email, social media, sports news and shopping also represented. Accessing work email and finalizing reports ranked as the most common online activities among business travelers, while passengers also made use of Gogo’s inflight wireless Internet platforms to check on weather conditions, entertainment options and to look up directions at their destinations.