Canada’s mobile-only market is small but growing: study

Desktop-only users still reign over mobile-only users.
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Nearly 15% of Canadians are officially mobile-only and eschew desktop devices, according to the latest Global Digital Future in Focus report by comScore. While that rate is small in comparison to other countries, it did grow by 4.8% year-over-year.

The global report examines browsing trends and patterns in 13 markets including Canada, using traffic data from more than 300,000 digital properties as part of its research.

Canada’s percentage of mobile-only usage is just below that of the U.S. (16%) and is generally on the lower side measured countries. In markets such as India and Indonesia, where desktop computers are more expensive, rates of mobile-only usage run between 70 and 80%. Canada’s desktop-only rate is still higher than its mobile-only rate (at 25%), while the remainder use a mix of mobile and desktop regularly.

ComScore reports Canada posted the highest rate of per-user desktop consumption (2,100 minutes per month). However, mobile minutes were significantly higher (3,900 per month).

Video is viewed more frequently on mobile screens in Canada, but only slightly (51% mobile, 49% desktop).

Like most countries, mobile browsers take up significantly less of Canadians’ smartphone and tablet time than apps themselves — fewer than 19% of minutes are spent on browsers compared to apps. The top apps for Canadians are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Google Search and Google Maps.

Canada did post one stat that appeared discouraging — the number of sites or apps reaching at least one in 10 people fell by 12% last year. Canada and Brazil were the only two countries to experience this.

However, a closer look at Canada’s apps showed a different story. When looking at the top 100 apps and sites outside of the notorious Google/Facebook duopoly, the number of apps reaching at least one in 10 people actually grew by 4%.

Time spent on Amazon sites increased in numerous markets (as high as 120%, in India), but showed virtually no increase in Canada.