The latest research from custom research company TNS Global, a division of WPP, shows that Canadians are among the most tech hungry and savvy in the world – especially when it comes to latest smartphones and tablets – with men driving this trend.
Commenting on the report findings, Ron Caughlin, Vice President, TNS Canada, said: “TNS’ Mobile Life 2011 survey rings loud and clear: Canadians are leaders when it comes to adapting latest technologies. As part of this, we’re seeing a real mind-shift: it’s no longer what my technology does – it’s what I can do with my technology. We’re past the days of using mobiles to merely text or even email – smartphones are providing us with the ability to seamlessly connect our friends, family and even finances.”
TNS’s Mobile Life 2011 survey is the largest ever global research project into today’s mobile consumer and includes insights from 34,000 respondents globally, including more than 1,000 Canadians. The survey reveals that an overwhelming 41% of Canadians have a smartphone – significantly higher than the global market average of 28% – with this trend being driven by 22 – 30 year old Canadian men.
Interestingly, the number of Canadians accessing social networking sites on mobile rose from 6% in 2010 to 24% this year. When asked how they use their social networks on their handsets, a majority (63%) of Canadians said they check friends’ status or update their own; 62% send messages to friends and 56% check their own inbox. Although only 8% currently use their social networking app on their mobile to check-in their location, 20% would like to be able to do this in the future.
As Canadians look to rely on their mobiles for more complex functions, the ‘brand’ is no longer as important. While 37% of respondents were loyal to their network brand in 2010, this dropped to 28% in 2011. In turn, consumers’ attention turned to what ‘content’ their phone provides – such as Facebook and YouTube programs – as interest in content grew from 24% in 2010 to 36% in 2011.
The Mobile Life 2011 study shows that Canadians have huge interest in the ‘mobile wallet’. While 10% of Canadians have already used a mobile wallet, 4 in 10 are interested in using their cell phone as a credit card or debit card in the future.
In addition, 17% of Canadians want to be able to pay for items in shops, restaurants and bars, meanwhile a further 14% want to pay for water, power or rates bills, and even 8% said they’d be willing to pay rent or mortgage payments with their mobile. Once again, 16-40 year old Canadian men are driving this trend.
TNS’ data also shows while Canadians paid an average $129 (CND) for their current mobile phone, they are prepared to fork-out $150 (CND) for their next handset. What’s more, men are even willing to pay $169 for their next mobile – $30 more than women.
In line with Canadians’ appetite for all things tech related, tablets are slated as the next big gadget. Although only 7% of Canadians – compared to 5% of North Americans – currently own a tablet, 31% of respondents intend to purchase the coveted device over the next 6 months, with 31-40 year olds showing the most interest.
As a clear majority of Canadians (63%) consider their tablet an ‘additional’ gadget, with only 14% intending to buy the device to ‘replace’ their PC, the data also shows that eReading is the only category where users are equally torn between using a PC and a tablet.
Ron Caughlin, Vice President, TNS Canada went on to add: “As the technology landscape constantly evolves and we edge towards a cashless society, TNS’ annual Mobile Life 2011 sets the benchmark in revealing consumers’ growing appetite to integrate latest technologies into all aspects of living – especially when it comes to the mobile wallet and our desire for tablets. Mobile Life provides an unrivalled insight into the factors that will shape consumers’ experience with mobility for today and tomorrow.”