Twenty-three percent of online adult Canadians own a smartphone, 3% own a tablet, about three in every four mobile device users have downloaded at least one application, Ipsos study finds; weather, gaming apps are most popular

TORONTO , June 29, 2011 (press release) – There is a lot of talk about Apps and mobile, but when it comes to walking the walk, are Canadians really taking to this new mobile landscape? The answer, according to Ipsos Reid’s recent Mobil-logy Study of Smartphone, Tablet & eReader users in Canada, is yes, but far fewer than you might think.

The study revealed that approximately three in every four Mobile Device users report having downloaded at least one App to their mobile device (71% of Smartphone users and 80% of Tablet users). While this may seem high – context is everything. The study conducted in February of this year shows 23% of online adult Canadians (18+) own a true Smartphone (this excludes web-enabled phones) and 3% of the same own a Tablet.

“In absolute terms, usage across Canada is still relatively small, but for marketers, there are great opportunities to create engaged consumers by creating engaging Apps,” says Mary Beth Barbour, Senior Vice President of Ipsos Reid. “When we consider that 71% of the 23% of Smartphone users have downloaded an App, that equates to 16% of the online adult population in Canada and for Tablets it translates to 2%. The importance, however, of Apps can not be downplayed. We believe they are fundamental to device engagement and as mobile penetration becomes mainstream, so too will the proportion of App users in Canada.”

It is important to recognize that experience with Apps varies considerably among Smartphone users, depending on the operating system of their device. The study revealed that almost every iPhone user has downloaded an App (96%) – a figure that is pulling up the average. By comparison, far fewer BlackBerry users have done the same (59%). Users of other Smartphones using a different operating system (primarily Android users) fall somewhere in between (66%).

The variation in App experience between different Smartphone operating systems is magnified further when exploring the number of Apps users have on their devices. “On average, Smartphone users estimate they have 19 Apps on their device at any one time (the average number of Apps for a Tablet is higher at 25). The number goes up considerably among Apple iPhone users, who report five times more Apps than BlackBerry users (34 Apps versus 6 Apps). It is expected that this gap will narrow as BlackBerry moves to a more sophisticated Operating System.

“Results from our Mobil-ology study suggest that Smartphones and Tablets represent two very different value propositions for their users,” Barbour continues. “The Smartphone in principal delivers on utility, yet the Tablet fundamentally serves an entertainment purpose. Where we do see similarities between the two mobile devices relates to the genres of Apps Canadians are using. Regardless of device, Weather and Gaming Apps top the list in terms of popularity.”

According to the study results, Canadian mobile App users favour the Weather Network App - 40% of Smartphone users who have downloaded a Weather App have the Weather Network App on their device, the proportion is slightly less at 35% for Tablets. When it comes to Gaming Apps, Angry Birds is the leading distraction, 14% and 19% of Smartphone and Tablet users respectively with a Gaming App have downloaded Angry Birds.

These findings are based on two Ipsos Reid polls conducted between mid-December 2010 and mid-January 2011, and in February of 2011. The studies were conducted among adult residents of Canada via the Ipsos Opinions Online Panel, one of Ipsos Reid's national online panels. The two online surveys had different sample sizes (Study 1 – n= 50,000 and Study 2 n=2,000). The sample of 2,000 in the second study included 897 Smartphone users and 557 Tablet users. 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 larger sub-groups mentioned above and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of online adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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.

To learn more, please visit

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies 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. They measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2010, Ipsos generated global revenues of €1.140 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.).

Visit to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.