By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
June 22, 2011

Android, at 11%, pales by comparison. The iPad, per device, is the biggest data hog of all

According to a report released Wednesday by Meraki, a San Francisco-based company that provides wireless networking to 17,000 small and medium-sized organizations, from MIT and UVA to Starbucks and Burger King, 2011 was the year that mobile devices overtook PCs as the major consumers of Wi-Fi data.

In a one-month period in 2010, Microsoft (MSFT) Windows and Apple’s (AAPL) Macs accounted for 63% devices on Meraki’s Wi-Fi networks. In the same month in 2011, 58% of the devices were running iOS or Google’s (GOOG) Android.

In descending order, the devices currently hooking up to Meraki’s Wi-Fi networks, which reach 40 million users in 140 countries around the world, are:

  • iPhones (32%)
  • Windows (23%)
  • Mac OS X (13%)
  • iPod touch (11%)
  • Android (11%)
  • iPad (4%)
  • Other (6%)

In terms of data consumption, according to Meraki, the iPad pulls far more than its weight. As the chart above indicates, it gobbles up 400% more Wi-Fi data than the average iPhone, iPod touch or Android phone.

Below: 2010 vs. 2011.

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