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The iPad rules the sky, too: it’s the top device for connecting to in-flight Wi-Fi

iPads on a plane
Jetstar Airways / Flickr, under a Creative Commons license
iPads on a plane.
United StatesPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Gogo, the in-flight Wi-Fi provider for US domestic flights, says two-thirds of its customers use tablets or phones, instead of laptops, to connect to the internet when they’re up in the air.

The new data also make it clear that Apple devices rule the sky: 84% of flyers who connect to Wi-Fi on their phones or tablets do so with an Apple device. Android devices comprise the other 16%. But that’s less lopsided than in 2011, when Apple had 97% of that market.

All told, 35% of Gogo customers connect with tablets, 32% with phones, and 33% with laptops. The iPad is the single most popular device.

Gogo laid the groundwork to go public in late 2011 but hasn’t yet followed through with an IPO. Its regulatory filings, however, reveal additional data about how US flyers are getting online. In the first half of 2012, 5.4% of people who had access to Gogo in-flight wireless took advantage of it. Virgin America probably has the highest rate of Gogo usage, averaging over 20% of passengers. On flights between New York and San Francisco, more than half of the plane usually uses Wi-Fi.

Among those who do connect, Gogo earns an average of $9.18 per session, which is down slightly from the first half of 2011, though the company has succeeded in getting more people to use the service.

The data don’t account for pilots who increasingly use iPads and other tablets during flights. But presumably—or, we certainly hope—they’re not surfing while flying.

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