CANADIANS LEAD THE MOBILE TECHNOLOGY DRIVE

TORONTO, June 24, 2011 /CNW/ - Latest research from TNS, the world's largest custom research company and 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."

Canadians lead the smartphone race
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.

A look to the future - 'mobile wallet'
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.

Canadians turn to tablets
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."

About Mobile Life
Mobile Life 2011 is the largest ever global research project into today's mobile consumer. Now into its sixth year, Mobile Life provides a complete understanding of consumer experiences with mobility today and insights into how this will change tomorrow. The repost includes results of more than 25,000 hours of interviews with over 34,000 respondents in 43 countries and more than 1,000 interviews in Canada.

About TNS
TNS Canada (formerly known as TNS Canadian Facts) is the Canadian arm of TNS.TNS is the global leader in custom market research delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to clients around the globe so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 80 countries, TNS is dedicated to discovering growth opportunities for its clients in an ever-changing world. Through its pioneering and innovative culture, TNS understands the latest marketing challenges and research techniques, being the first to discover and solve new marketing issues for clients.

DISCOVER - A changing world: New territories, new media, new opportunities.
TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy networks.
Please visit www.tnsglobal.com for more information.

About Kantar
Kantar is one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.
For further information, please visit us at www.kantar.com

SOURCE TNS Canadian Facts

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Miranda Gulland, Hill & Knowlton Canada
Direct: 416-413-4730
Cell: 416-209-4408
Email: Miranda.gulland@hillandknowlton.ca

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TNS Canadian Facts

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