Meraki Reveals iPads Use 400% More Wi-Fi Data than the Average Mobile Device

It’s to be expected. I have what is arguably the best Android iPad competitor on the planet right now and it is not a patch on my iPad 2. Actually, despite neat cameras, the latest Android O/S and theoretically wonderful battery life (reality is so disappointing when a Flash movie is running in the background or Skype it humming to itself, so you pick the thing up after less than a day to find the battery that should last 16 hours is already dead in less than 5), it’s not even close to my old iPad 1. It’s  getting there, but Apple win hands down without having to even breathe heavily. Which is why, in passing, I agree with most analysts that Amazon’s approach that does not seek to directly compete with the iPad is brilliant and might actually work.  

Actually, if this site reveals truth, there is a far more remarkable figure embedded in these already surprising statistics. That 60% of roaming wifi devices (major proviso: those that use Meraki networks) are made by Apple. I’m not sure why I should be surprised because that’s what I see every day when I walk past coffee shops, sit in airport lounges or hang out around open wifi networks. Despite the fact that Apple make well under 10% of the devices used on this planet to access the Internet, they are often the majority that I can see in public places and likely the majority portrayed on the old media like film and TV. Given that, within considerably under a decade, desktop and other tethered devices are likely to recede into a humdrum distant past and have little relevance to most people any more, this is a startling factoid. The only thing that makes me a little reluctant to predict the ascendance of the dark overlord  as a direct result (Apple as a company make Microsoft look like saints, albeit saints with bad taste and poor intellectual skills) is that wireless networks as we know them today have very little hope of survival. In itself and in the long term, this is a matter of minor interest as other more friendly and reliable wireless technologies will supplant the creaking wifi bandwidth hogs of yesterday. But legacy systems have a tendency to hang around for a while so wifi is not going to vanish immediately. And the chances that my 2005 vintage Mac will (without a lot sweet USB loving or some open countryside far beyond a city) still be able to access the airwaves at more than a few bits per second in 2015 are slim. Actually, my 2011 Macbook Air (not the latest model but not an elderly wreck) will have some similar problems. Scrub that, it already does, more than a few feet from an access point. So maybe Apple will choke on its own brilliance, and chance whimsy will determine what we use in a few years to get at stuff that is not on our machines, because Apple could not resist the low hanging wifi fruit when it should have been chasing something else. And the network, as we have always known, is the thing that matters most. Amazon know that. 

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I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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