According to research firm ComScore's February Device Essentials study, 71 percent of iPhone users in the U.S. leverage both cellular and Wi-Fi networks compared to 32 percent of Android users. The numbers are skewed even more toward Wi-Fi in the U.K. where the share of iOS and Android users utilizing both types of connections comes in at 87 percent and 57 percent, respectively.
Offering some explanation as to why the data varies between the two nations, ComScore's President of Operator and Mobile Solutions Serge Matta said that, "in the U.K., the scarcity of unlimited data plans and higher incidence of smartphone pre-paid contracts with a pay-as-you-go data model likely contributes to data offloading among users wanting to economize their mobile usage."
He goes on to say that the lack of high speed 4G networks like those in the U.S. might be forcing U.K. users to move to Wi-Fi connections. Matta notes, however, that U.S. users may see a shift toward Wi-Fi as so-called "unlimited" plans fall to the wayside. AT&T recently announced that it would be throttling the speed of grandfathered-in "unlimited data" plans when a user crosses a 3GB threshold.
Breaking down the findings by carrier, iPhone owners on AT&T's network used Wi-Fi more than any other U.S. carrier because the telecom has both a larger share of Apple's handset as well as the nation's largest hotspot network. In the U.K., In the U.K., handsets on Vodafone, Telefonica and Orange networks were found to use Wi-Fi more than those on other U.K. operators' networks.