When it comes to active use of wireless networks, Apple’s devices are the fastest-growing clients, according to cloud-based wireless networking company, Meraki.

The company released the first-ever Meraki Wireless Census today, and the results reveal bold increases in the number of wireless-capable devices in use in North America, and even larger increases in the number of Apple devices and handhelds being used.

The number of Apple devices observed, including laptops, iPhones and iPods, grew by an impressive 221%. Apple devices now represent 32% of all the devices seen by this set of Meraki networks in North America, compared to just 14% in 2008.

The census compared activity seen by a single set of 10,000 randomly selected Meraki wireless access points in North America in 2008 and 2009 in order to understand macro-level traffic and end-user device trends.

The number of client devices, such as laptops and handheld devices, observed by the same set of Meraki access points grew dramatically by 41% from 149,687 devices in 2008 to 211,190 in 2009.

Boosted by the iPhone factor, the number of WiFi compatible handheld devices also grew significantly. The number of Research In Motion (RIM) devices observed in North America grew by 419% from 2008 to 2009, and Nokia devices grew by 114%. In 2008, RIM devices represented just 2% of all devices observed, but grew dramatically to 8% for 2009. In 2008 and 2009, Nokia represented 1% and 2% of all devices, respectively.

Sanjit Biswas, CEO and co-founder of Meraki observes: “The growth in devices overall is impressive, but the growth for Apple, Nokia and RIM devices is stunning. It paints a vivid picture about how people now access the Internet, and the trends we can expect for years to come."

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