Canadians Are Behind in Using and Owning Cell Phones

According to lag behind other G8 countries – and even several developing ones – when it comes to ownership and use of mobile phones. About 70% of Canadians (aged 16-60) own a mobile phone, a level that puts us near the bottom of all the markets surveyed.  This number is on par with Vietnam and Mexico and just ahead of India, some of which ranked last.

Of the remaining 30% of Canadians who do not own a mobile phone, most are part of group the research firm calls ‘rejecters’, people who have no intention of purchasing a phone within the next 12 months.

The report is bad news for the wireless industry in Canada. Why? Because it means the subscriber and profit growth could be over. (Operating profits at Canada’s largest mobile phone provider, Rogers, increased 32% to more than $4 billion last year because of new wireless subscribers.)

Add in the entry of new Canadian mobile phone providers, such as Globalive and Videotron later this year, and existing operators such as Bell, Rogers and Telus, could actually see their wireless profits fall in coming years.

There is however a bright spot for Smartphones. 

The researchers note that over the past year, the penetration of smartphones (multi-functional devices offering advanced features like e-mail, Internet, personal organizers and touch screens) has nearly doubled from 12 per cent to 21 per cent, a movement that is consistent with the global trend.