Canadians spending less time on tablets, smartphones
A customer plays with the Blackberry Playbook during the tablet's launch in Toronto Tuesday, April 19, 2011. (Darren Calabrese / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
An add-on lens made for a smartphone claims to improve cell phone pictures.
Published Monday, August 20, 2012 3:31PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 20, 2012 10:23PM EDT
Canadians’ love for their mobile gadgets may be on the wane, suggests new research, which found that the average time they spend staring at those glowing screens is on the decline.
A new survey from Ipsos Reid found that Canadians are still using their smartphones, tablets and e-readers with the same frequency as they were when the polling firm asked in 2011.
However, they are spending less time on average using these gadgets.
“Initially, seasonality was suspected as a cause of this reported behaviour,” Mary Beth Barbour, senior vice president with Ipsos Reid, said in a news release.
“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.”
According to the findings, Canadians said that they used their smartphones 222 times, tablets 115 times and e-readers 38 times each month. Those figures remained steady compared with results from the 2011 survey.
Canadians said that in 2012, they spent 2.8 hours per day on their smartphones, down from 3.3 hours in 2011. Tablet use was down from 3.2 hours to 2.4 hours, and e-reader use declined from 2.1 hours to 1.8 hours.
Respondents were also downloading new apps to their smartphones and tablets less frequently.
Barbour attributed the findings to a number of factors, including that gadgets are now used by a broader segment of the population beyond the most tech-savvy experts. Users who aren’t gadget gurus may use their phones and tablets less frequently.
Also, it is likely that “Canadians are maturing as mobile users,” she said.
“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.”
The findings are based on an online study, with the first phase conducted in February 2011 and the second phase in March and April of 2012. Each phase included data from the Ipsos Opinions Online Panel of 2,000 Canadians.
The results were based on a sample that was weighted to balance demographics and ensure that it matched Canada’s online population according to Census data.