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Canada still middle of the pack in adoption of smartphones: new report


smartphoneA new report from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) shows that Canadians are still middle of the pack in terms of worldwide adoption of smartphones.

The CRTC study, called the 2015 Communications Monitoring Report reveals that in 2014, 67% of Canadians owned a smartphone, compared to 62% in 2013. The report also found that tablet usage is up (from 39% in 2013 to 49% last year) and that the vast majority of Canadians are now accessing the internet through fourth-generation (LTE or long-term evolution) wireless networks.

“The Communications Monitoring Report provides a clear indication of where the Canadian telecommunications system is heading,” said CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais. As more Canadians are subscribing to faster Internet speeds and using smartphones and tablets, they are able to participate more actively in the evolving digital economy.”

While two out of every three Canadians using a smartphone may sound like the height of a connected citizenship, the reality is that the number puts our country squarely in the middle of the pack.

According to a recent survey from research centre Digieco, the UAE leads the world in terms of smartphone penetration with 90.8% of the population connected. That nation is followed by Singapore and Saudi Arabia, which both came in at 87.7%. South Korea was fourth at 83%. You have to look way down the list to find Canada in the company of Thailand (63.7%). Smartphone penetration was at 70.7% in the United States, which was good enough for 20th spot on the list. China was 15th at 74%.

Worldwide, IDC expects global smartphone growth will begin to stall as nations move closer to full penetration.

“Smartphone volume still has a lot of opportunity in the years to come, but two fundamental segments driving recent years’ growth are starting to slow,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “As reported earlier in May, smartphone shipments in China actually declined year over year in the first quarter of 2015, showing that the largest market in the world has reached a level of maturity where rapid growth will be harder to achieve. This has implications for Android because China has been a critical market for Android smartphone shipments in recent years, accounting for 36% of total volume in 2014. As Chinese OEMs shift their focus from the domestic market to the next high-growth markets, they will face a number of challenges, including competition from ‘local’ brands.”

Other findings from the CRTC report:

Wireless services

>In 2014, there were 28.8 million wireless subscribers in Canada, an increase of 1.5% from the previous year.
>Over 66% of Canadians own a smartphone, and 49% of Canadians use tablets – an increase over 2013, when the percentages were 62% and 39%, respectively.
>In 2014, the percentage of Canadians with access to fourth-generation wireless networks (LTE or long-term evolution) increased from 81% to 93% in a year.
>The market share of subscribers served by smaller wireless competitors increased from 5% in 2013 to 6% in 2014.
>In 2014, Canadian households spent an average of $79.08 per month on wireless services.
>Approximately 70% of wireless plans which include data featured at least 1 GB of data usage per month.


>In 2014, broadband availability for residential services (excluding satellite) was 97% nationally; 100% in urban areas and 87% in rural areas.
>The number of households that subscribe to Internet services grew by 3.4% from 11.3 million in 2013 to 11.6 million in 2014.
>The average number of gigabytes downloaded per month by residential subscribers increased by 49% between 2013 and 2014, rising from 45 to 67 gigabytes.
>In 2014, Canadian households spent an average of $38.91 per month on Internet services.
>The market share of subscribers captured by independent internet service providers increased very slightly in 2014 to reach 10.7%.

>The percentage of households subscribing to wireline telephone service has declined from 89% in 2010 to 80% in 2013, a reduction of approximately 380,000 households.
>In 2014, Canadian households spent an average of $31.10 per month on home telephone services.

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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