BlackBerry. iPhone. Android. It's no surprise that smartphones are booming in Canada.
Of the more than 24.5 million mobile subscribers in Canada, over one third own a smartphone, and that figure jumps to 47% for users between the ages of 18-44 (sources: eMarketer, 2010 and CWTA, 2011). These powerful mobile devices are ushering in the post-PC era with anywhere/anytime Internet access, revolutionizing personal computing as we know it.
According to Cisco's Visual Networking Index, Canadian mobile web usage will break records in 2012 by hitting almost 18.4 Petabytes (tripling levels from 2010), and is estimated to accelerate to 71.5 Petabytes by 2015. With this paradigm shift to smartphones happening so quickly, businesses across Canada are scrambling to keep pace. The attached infographic exemplifies Canada's growing consumer demand for mobile content.
"Canadians are using their smartphones more than ever to discover and engage with brands of all sizes," says Kevin Zicherman, President and CEO of brick&mobile, a Toronto-based mobile marketing agency that produces platform agnostic mobile web apps. "Mobile web searches are more purpose driven, and consumers now have the expectation of connecting with brands on-the-go." Smartphone users, he asserts, are "frustrated with their current mobile experience, as many local business websites are built using Flash and are not compatible with the iPhone."
While many national companies have already gone mobile, many local businesses have not. Over three quarters of mobile searches have local intent, yet only 18% of mobile websites are optimized for mobile devices (Google, 2011). As smartphones further establish themselves as the ultimate devices for ubiquitous information retrieval, businesses of all sizes need to provide consistent and easily-navigable mobile web experiences that better engage their audiences across all platforms.
Full-size infographic after the jump.