68% of Canadians Now Own Smartphones, but Same Frustrations Remain

Mobile continues to experience substantial growth in Canada, with smartphone ownership increasing by 24% year-over-year.

According to an annual survey from Catalyst on Canada’s mobile landscape, smartphone penetration now sits at 68%, up from 55% in 2014.

Most smartphone owners are now on their second or third device. In 2014, the mean number of smartphones ever owned by current smartphone owners was 2.12, according to Catalyst. In 2015, that number increased by nearly 12% to 2.37.

“Far from being an occasional touchpoint for Internet access and communication on the go, smartphones have become a key part of the fabric of day-to-day life,” writes Brett Langlois of Catalyst. “Canadians are more comfortable with their devices now, and are increasingly using them for everyday at-home activities that previously would have been accomplished on a laptop or desktop computer.”



As in 2014, however, battery life and data limits remain the biggest frustrations with smartphones. People might be conducting more activities at home in part because they are usually connected to wifi and have easy access to an electrical outlet to recharge as needed. If battery technology improves, and telecommunications companies increase their data caps, this trend may reverse, Catalyst notes.

There is also “a clear preference for larger screens over smaller screens,” according to Langlois.