While we may see Canadians fervently using their tablets and smartphones throughout the day, new research shows that time spent on these devices is heading down.

Ipsos Reid surveyed nearly two thousand Canadians in March/April 2012 and found that while the frequency at which Canadians are using their smartphones, tablets and eReaders remains stable, the average time they spend using them has declined.

The average Canadian now spends 2.8 hours per day on their smartphone, down significantly from 3.3 hours they reported in spring 2011. Same goes for tablet use, with 2.4 hours registered now versus 3.2 hours last year. Those with eReaders are following suit with 1.8 hours average usage now from 2.1 hours logged previously.

“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.”

The rate of downloading new apps is also lower among smartphone and tablet users as is the level of deleting old applications.

Barbour reasons: “Such changes further support the notion that Canadians are maturing as mobile users. 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.”

On average, Canadians report using their smartphones 222 times per month, tablets 115 times per month, and eReaders 38 times monthly.

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