Google Finds Smartphone Usage In Canada Has Rocketed, Surprises Nobody

July 30, 2013 - Written By Leonardo Benveniste

Unless you’re reading this article on your phone, put it down for a second, OK? I know you’re most likely checking your phone constantly, we all do it. To some extent, it makes sense, we’ve become used to being connected and informed all the time and we keep the device in our pockets, it’s a reflex, almost like watching the time.

It turns out that the whole world is showing this behavior and we’re getting a report specific to Canada, where Google Canada has found out that 56% of adults use a smartphone, almost double the 33% reported last year. The same survey reports than almost half of Canadians would rather give up their televisions than their smartphones.

This trend is obviously not only for Canadians, we know that the world is going mobile, not only with smartphones but with tablets, people use their devices before going to bed and read a book or watch a movie, read the news while commuting to work in the morning or just wasting time on the couch in the various social networks. Almost every person surveyed by Google claimed to log on to social networks every day, and that they access Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at least once a week. I have to say, just once a week seems very little, that might be an average of some sort, I’m sure most people check their social networks at least a couple of times a day.

Bigger phones and faster networks has also helped the move into mobile computing, users get more content, faster and with more enjoyable screens, there’s a reason 4.7-inch devices are considered “normal” these days and devices around the 5.5 inch mark like the Samsung Galaxy Note II don’t look like monsters.

Eric Morris, head of mobile advertising at Google Canada, said:

“The study shows people are using mobile to change all aspects of their life, whether it’s their job, travel, shopping, the way they communicate with others, and specifically trying to understand the world around them.”

The survey extends beyond smartphone usage and into apps, with the average Canadian user having about 30 apps installed but using only 12 per month, with eight of those being paid apps. Strangely, only 25% of the users made an online transaction on a smartphone in the last year, but from those users, 50% made a purchase in the last month and continue to do it about once a month.

The highest number was for video viewing, to what Morris said he was surprised by the number, with about 75% saying that they streamed video on their smartphone, and about 20% do it daily.

I’m sure next year this numbers will be through the roof, smartphones and tablets are going to get much better, apps are going to be more user-friendly and feature-filled and TVs will be used mostly for streaming content from these devices than from a cable box. Mobile devices are here to stay, it’s the TV who has to be afraid now.