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Canada Mobile Apps Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Mobile Apps market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

This Report covers mobile apps:

  • Mobile apps: Applications on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) that allow users to run specific pieces of software.

What you need to know

As mobile devices become more and more important to consumers, it’s the apps that have been at the root of the user experience. These software applications allow users to do everything from chatting with friends and ordering cabs, to paying bills and playing video games. Today, there are literally millions of mobile apps available to consumers who own a smartphone or tablet.

The confluence of high demand, evolving innovation and a low willingness from consumers to actually pay for apps creates a unique, dynamic market. The primary focus of this Report will be to gain a better understanding of the mobile app market and how consumers use apps. Its findings are based on the results of Mintel’s exclusive research and will help navigate a mobile app market that is unlike any other consumer product today – with the goal of uncovering opportunities for growth in this fast-paced industry.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Scott Stewart, a leading analyst in the Technology and Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

As mobile devices become more and more important to consumers, it’s the apps that have been at the root of the user experience. These software applications allow users to do everything from chatting with friends and ordering cabs, to paying bills and playing video games. Today, there are literally millions of mobile apps available to consumers who own a smartphone or tablet. Scott Stewart
Senior Technology and Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Most consumers aren’t willing to pay for mobile apps
            • Figure 1: Willingness to spend on mobile apps, February 2018
          • Device storage space can be a hurdle for app downloads
            • Security and data tracking are concerns for app users
              • Figure 2: Comfort with apps sharing data, February 2018
              • Figure 3: Comfort with apps tracking location, February 2018
            • The opportunities
              • Mobile apps connect people
                • Figure 4: Apps are a way to stay in touch with people, February 2018
              • App usage differs on smartphones and tablets
                • Figure 5: Past month app usage, February 2018
              • Preference for mobile apps vs. computer websites
                • Figure 6: Preference for mobile apps vs computers, February 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Smartphone ownership is high
                  • Immigration trends mean more communication via mobile app
                    • Long distance phone calls impacted by mobile apps
                      • Building apps for an aging population
                        • Mobile data usage is increasing
                        • Market Factors

                          • Smartphone ownership is high
                            • Figure 7: Smartphone ownership, by age, January 2018
                          • Immigration trends mean more communication via mobile app
                            • Figure 8: Using apps to stay in touch (any agree), by place of birth, February 2018
                            • Figure 9: Immigrants as a share of Canadian population, October 2017
                          • Long distance phone calls impacted by mobile apps
                            • Figure 10: Long distance phone call revenue, April 2018
                          • Building apps for an aging population
                            • Figure 11: Average age of Canadian population, October 2017
                          • Mobile data usage is increasing
                            • Figure 12: Monthly mobile data usage among subscribers with data plans, 2014-16
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • New companies are thinking app-first
                            • Consumers are looking for content in their apps
                              • The mobile app store market is a duopoly
                                • Subscription fees chipping away at consumer budgets
                                  • Mobile apps are influencing personal computers
                                    • App development is becoming a common skill
                                    • What’s Working?

                                      • New companies are thinking app-first
                                        • Consumers are looking for content in their apps
                                          • Figure 13: Streaming mobile app usage, 18-34s, February 2018
                                      • Challenges

                                        • The mobile app store market is a duopoly
                                          • Subscription apps chipping away at consumer budgets
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Mobile apps are influencing personal computers
                                              • Figure 14: 10 Reasons to upgrade to Windows 10: Windows Store, July 2015
                                            • App development is becoming a common skill
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Payment for mobile apps
                                                • Apps are a way of connecting people
                                                  • App usage on smartphones vs tablets
                                                    • Storage space is a concern
                                                      • Security concerns for app users
                                                        • Preference for mobile apps vs desktop sites
                                                        • Payment for mobile apps

                                                          • Getting consumers to pay for apps is a challenge
                                                              • Figure 15: Willingness to spend on mobile apps, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 16: Willingness to spend on mobile apps, by operating system, February 2018
                                                            • Young men are the most likely to spend money on apps
                                                              • Figure 17: “I am unwilling to spend money on mobile apps”, by age and gender, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 18: Willingness to spend money on in-app purchases, men 18-24 vs 25-34, February 2018
                                                            • Many consumers hunt for apps, they don’t browse
                                                              • Figure 19: App store shopping behaviour, by age and gender, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 20: App store shopping behaviour, by operating system, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 21: Arnold’s fight – Mobile Strike, February 2016
                                                          • Apps As a Way of Connecting People

                                                            • Mobile device owners use apps to stay in touch
                                                              • Figure 22: Apps are a way to stay in touch with people, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 23: Apps are a way to stay in touch with people (any agree), by age, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 24: Apps are a way to stay in touch with people, by ethnicity, kids and place of birth, February 2018
                                                            • Many people socialize through apps more than in person
                                                              • Figure 25: Socializing through apps vs in-person, by age and gender, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 26: Socializing through apps vs in-person, by kids, place of birth and financial situation, February 2018
                                                            • Communication is the leading use for mobile apps
                                                              • Figure 27: Top types of mobile apps used, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 28: Usage of communications apps, by age and gender, February 2018
                                                          • App Usage on Smartphones vs Tablets

                                                            • App usage is generally higher on smartphones than tablets
                                                              • Figure 29: Past month app usage, by device type, February 2018
                                                            • Games, video and shopping apps are common on tablets
                                                              • Figure 30: Past month app usage on tablets, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 31: Top apps used on tablets, February 2018
                                                            • Social media, navigation and communication apps skew to smartphones
                                                              • Figure 32: Past month app usage (select), smartphone vs tablet, February 2018
                                                          • Storage Space is a Concern

                                                            • App size is a major hurdle for downloads
                                                              • Figure 33: Deleting apps to save space, by age and gender, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 34: Downloaded apps in past week, by age and gender, February 2018
                                                            • Smaller app sizes can drive downloads and usage
                                                              • Figure 35: Downloaded apps in past week, by age, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 36: Apps used in the past month, by age, February 2018
                                                          • Security Concerns for App Users

                                                            • Consumers don’t like the idea of apps sharing data securely
                                                              • Figure 37: Comfort with apps sharing data, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 38: Comfort with apps sharing data, by age, February 2018
                                                            • There is discomfort about the data that apps track
                                                              • Figure 39: Comfort with apps tracking location, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 40: Comfort with apps tracking location, by age, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 41: Comfort with apps tracking usage, by age, February 2018
                                                          • Mobile Apps Versus Desktop Sites

                                                            • People generally don’t prefer mobile apps over computers
                                                              • Figure 42: Preference for mobile apps vs computers, February 2018
                                                            • Age is a major factor in preferences towards mobile apps
                                                              • Figure 43: Preference for mobile apps vs computers (any agree), by age, February 2018
                                                              • Figure 44: Preference for mobile apps vs computers, by operating system, February 2018
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Terms