Canadians spending less time on mobile devices

Canadians’ love affair with their mobile gadgets may be cooling as the novelty stage wears off, a new study shows.

We still love our smartphones, tablets and e-readers, but now thatthey’ve become part of our everyday lives, we’re spending less time onthem, according to Ipsos Reid research.

The trend was seen across all three major mobile devices measured forusage by Ipsos Reid. This spring Canadians spent an average of 2.8hours a day on their smartphones, down from 3.3 hours in spring 2011.And time spent on tablets fell to 2.4 hours per day from 3.2 hours ayear earlier. The same was true for e-readers, which saw daily usagedrop from 2.1 hours a day in spring of 2011 to 1.8 hours in spring2012.

Canadians still love mobiledevices but we’re spending less time on them, Ipsos Reid data show.

Canadians are also spending less time downloading new smartphone andtablet apps and deleting older apps from their devices, the studyshows.

When the trend was first spotted, seasonality was the suspectedculprit, meaning the drop was thought to be caused by a big spike inusage right after the holiday buying season that tapered off steadily.Yet Ipsos Reid surmises that a longer term leveling off of device usagemay be happening when seasonality is stripped out of the equation.

“The average duration of use has failed to return to the higher levelsrecorded a year earlier in spring 2011. This is beginning to suggest apotential shift in usage patterns,” Ipsos Reid senior vice-presidentMary Beth Barbour said in a news release.

So what’s going on? Barbour said two things may be happening. One, asthe novelty of using mobile devices wears off, “usage levels (are)normalizing.” Two, as mobile devices become more popular among thewider population, usage is flattening out because it’s not just diehardtech geeks using them obsessively anymore.

“(It’s) the expansion of the user base beyond the ‘techies’ and earlyadopters to the broader population who may be less active users,” shesaid.

Christine WongChristineWong is a Staff Writer at and CDN. E-mail her at [email protected],connect on Google+,follow her on Twitter,and join in the conversation on the IT BusinessFacebook Page.

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Christine Wong
Christine Wong
Christine Wong has been an on-air reporter for a national daily show on Rogers TV and at High Tech TV, a weekly news magazine on CTV's Ottawa affiliate. She was also an associate producer at Report On Business Television (now called BNN) and CBC's The Hour With George Stroumboulopoulos. As an associate producer at Slice TV, she helped launch two national daily talk shows, The Mom Show and Three Takes. Recently, she was a Staff Writer at and is now a freelance contributor.

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