Report: Handheld Devices Show Big Gains In Public Wi-Fi Usage

This isn't your Internet cafe's Wi-Fi anymore. JiWire, a mobile advertising services company, compiled data that shows 21.9 percent growth for public Wi-Fi use in 2009 (and 8.2 percent for the fourth quarter alone).

The meat of the report, however, reveals that mobile devices beyond the laptop are increasingly being used in public hotspots. Fifty-six percent of respondents report using their mobile device to access the Web while on-the-go.

Apple dominates mobile device usage. Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch devices account for just shy of 98 percent of use beyond laptops. Mashable points out that these figures align with those published in another report by Boingo back in June.

What are these users doing?

Google is the number one Web site for the on-the-go audience, with Facebook and Yahoo rounding out the top three.

The full report, calculating data from approximately 289,000 locations worldwide and 2,024 customer surveys, can be read in pdf form here.

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