Categorized | Android, Apple, Featured, Tablet News

Are you tethering your Tablet?

Buying a 3G tablet isn't necessarily the best use of your cash: if you've got an iPhone or Android smartphone, you can use that to create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot that your tablet can access. However, it seems that most of us aren't doing that: according to a study by Carphone Warehouse, only 9% of smartphone users tether their mobiles to their tablets.

Carphone Warehouse has a vested interest here - the firm's trying to flog tethering bundles - but the study is still interesting, especially when it compares tethering among Android and iPad owners. Android tablet owners are twice as likely to tether their tablets to their phones than iPad users are, and we suspect that's because of money: Android tablet owners are likely to have Android phones while iPad owners are likely to have iPhones; with the latter, tethering costs money whereas with many Android phones, it's free.

As ever, young early adopters are ahead of the curve here: 18% of 18 to 24 year olds use tethering compared to 4% of over-55s. That explains the Android popularity, too: the Android demographic is more of an early adopting, let's-do-this-and-see-what-happens demographic than the iPad one.

Mobile data is both a huge opportunity and a missed opportunity for the mobile phone operators: 39% of tablet users think that 3G data connections are too expensive, which is an opinion we share, and a further 14% think data tariffs are too complicated, but they don't appear to be doing much tethering either - so that suggests lots of people would like to use mobile data, but they're being put off by price or complexity. It seems that if the phone firms were a little less greedy and a little more transparent, we might see a lot more people using 3G tablets than hunting around for hotspots.

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