Canadians Maturing as Mobile Users

Still Love Their Smartphones, Tablets and e-Readers, But Spending Less Time Using Them

Monday, August 20, 2012

Toronto, ON – Canada’s love affair with mobile rages on, but it seems as if the relationship is entering the ‘comfort zone’. The spring 2012 wave of Ipsos Reid’s Mobil-ology, a study of the mobile market in Canada, shows that the frequency at which Canadians are using their Smartphones, Tablets and eReaders remains stable, however, the average duration of time they report using them has declined.

“Initially, seasonality was suspected as a cause of this reported behaviour,” says Mary Beth Barbour, Senior Vice President with Ipsos Reid. “However, the average duration of use has failed to return to the higher levels recorded a year earlier in spring 2011. This is beginning to suggest a potential shift in usage patterns.”

Wave 3 of the study, conducted in March/April 2012, shows that device usage has stabilized over time. On average, Canadians report using their Smartphones 222 times per month, Tablets 115 times per month, and eReaders 38 times per month.

But the time spent on each device has declined.

On a typical weekday, Canadians in spring 2012 reported spending 2.8 hours per day on their Smartphone, down significantly from the 3.3 hours they reported in spring 2011, Wave 1 of the Mobil-ology study. Significant drops were also reported for hours spent on Tablets (2.4 hours down from 3.2 hours) and eReaders (1.8 hours down from 2.1 hours) over the same period.

Along a similar vein, declines are also noted in the frequency at which Smartphone and Tablet users download new Apps and delete old Apps previously loaded on their devices.

“Such changes further support the notion that Canadians are maturing as mobile users,” adds Barbour. “Decreases may be due in part to users settling in with their device and usage levels normalizing as the novelty wears off and users are in less of an exploratory phase. Further, shifts may also be related to the expansion of the user base beyond the ‘techies’ and early adopters to the broader population who may be less active users.”

These findings are based on two waves of research (the first in February 2011 and the second in March/April 2012). Each of these studies were conducted among approximately n=2,000 adult residents of Canada via the Ipsos Opinions Online Panel, one of Ipsos Reid's national online panels. The results are based on a sample where weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual online Canadian population according to Census data. A survey with an unweighted probability for the base sizes mentioned above and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-2% percentage points. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Mary Beth Barbour
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

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Canadians Maturing as Mobile Users


Mary Beth Barbour
Senior Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Marketing