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January 04, 2012

posted by: Carissa Drohan-Jennings

What Mobile Devices Are Renters Really Using To Access Rental Websites?

Cellphones have become ubiquitous in today's society and are now an important part of most of Canadians' everyday life.  Experts predict that by 2014, mobile phone browsing will surpass that of desktop computing, and with recent user statistics this prediction is not unachievable.

Canadians often hear smartphone user statistics from the United States, but it seems that Canadian statistics are harder to come by.  So when a Canadian report does surface, marketers are tempted to extrapolate user behaviour from that data.

One such report recently surfaced, published by Ipsos Reid, the world's leading survey-based marketing research firm.  The report concluded that Blackberry holds approximately 40% of the Canadian market share for Smartphones, followed by Apple with approximately 25% and all other types of Smartphones, including Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony, sharing the remaining 35%.

Since this survey identified which brands are the most widely purchased or owned by Canadians, many marketers would draw conclusions that these brands are also being used to perform mobile browsing.  As landlords and apartment marketers we all must be careful about making such a quick assumption, as this brand share data may not be representative of the real mobile browsing picture.

Landlord Web Solutions decided to look into the website analytics of its clients to see what devices renters are using to access rental websites.  While these clients only represent a fraction of the industry, they can still help us see what select renters are using to access these websites.  The results were astonishing. 

When comparing the mobile visitor statistics from eleven clients, we discovered that the mobile device most often used by renters to access the website was the iPad (50.1%).  If we removed the iPod and iPad devices from the results, and only looked at the smartphone devices being used to access the websites, the iPhone was the predominant player with 59.3% of visitors. 

There was actually a significant difference between the Ipsos Reid market share data and actual renter mobile visitor data.  In fact, Blackberry only accounted for 6% of the total visitors, whereas android devices represented 35%.

We can only begin to speculate why these statistics are so different.  Perhaps Blackberry users are more predominantly homeowners, perhaps the Blackberry browser deters users from searching online listings, or perhaps iPhone users are more often renters.  Whatever the case, it's interesting to see that statistics are not always what they appear to be.

If you are a landlord that is interested in developing a mobile website, we would suggest that you read, "5 Design Tips That Create Killer Mobile Websites".