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Canadians spending less time on smartphones, tablets

Canadians continue to use their smartphones frequently, but the amount of time they spend on such devices has declined, indicating the novelty might have worn off, according to a study on the mobile market in Canada.

A study by Ipsos Reid found there has been a shift in usage patterns of smartphones, tablets and e-readers.

“Initially, seasonality was suspected as a cause of this reported behaviour,” Mary Beth Barbour, senior vice-president with Ipsos Reid, said in a release.

“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.”

In the spring of 2011, Canadians reported spending 3.3 hours per day on their smartphones, whereas the following spring the number was down to 2.8 hours a day on average. The study also reported a decline in the amount of time spent on tablets and e-readers.

Each of the two waves of the study surveyed approximately 2,000 adult Canadian residents via the Ipsos Opinions Online Panel. The results were weighted to balance demographics and reflect the online Canadian population in accordance with census data.

“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."

Canadians reported using their smartphones 222 times per month, tablets 115 times per month and e-readers 38 times per month, according to Wave 3 of the study, completed in the spring of 2012.

The findings are considered accurate within two percentage points.

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