Tablet users opt for WiFi-only models, study finds
In the interest of saving some money, the majority of tablet buyers are selecting WiFi-only models rather than those that can connect to cellular networks, according to a study from Connected Intelligence, a division of research firm the NPD Group.
As of October 2011, WiFi-only devices accounted for 65 percent of tablet computers in use, a slight increase from April, when 60 percent of tablet owners used WiFi-only models.
Expense was cited as the main reason for choosing a WiFi-only tablet, with many tablet owners feeling it is not worth the extra money for the ability to connect to 3G and 4G networks. This is understandable, as studies have shown the majority of tablet use takes place in the home or in the office, where presumably most owners have access to WiFi networks.
Additionally, the majority of tablet users also own smartphones and therefore do not consider cellular connectivity necessary for their slates.
The prevalence of public WiFi hotspots may further diminish the need for cellular connectivity. According to a study from the Wireless Broadband Alliance, the number of WiFi hotspots will grow by 350 percent between 2011 and 2015, eventually reaching 5.8 million globally.