According to the CWTA there’s now over 27 million wireless subscribers in Canada. Many of us opted to sign a long 3-year contract with one of the Big 3 carriers (Rogers, Bell, TELUS), or possibly decided to go with one of their sub-brands. Over the past couple years the newer players like WIND, Mobilicity, or Public Mobile have encouraged Canadians to opt-out of contracts and hook up on their Unlimited offerings. This has caused a mild consumer transition, but analysts estimate the new entrants will have about 6.5% of the total Canadian subscriber base by the end of the year – which represents about 1.8 million subs.
Manufacturers have also been hammering out new devices, all thinner, lighter and more powerful. Gone are the days of the QWERTY slider… now it’s all about touchscreen smartphones with dual or quad-core processors. Of course the latest device does come at a premium, but the outright cost is slowly declining. An example of this is Google’s upcoming release of the LG Nexus 4. This “pure Android” will run the latest OS (4.2 Jelly Bean), pack in a 1.5GHz Quad-Core processor, 4.7-inch display with a 1280 x 768, 2GB RAM, 8MP, 2,100mAh battery and comes in at a base price of $309 (CDN). Those who’ve been waiting to get the latest device, possibly first time smartphone owners, can now do so at a reasonable price. Google could be setting the stage for lower carrier pricing in the future.
Canadians will be seeing many new high-end devices launch this month: Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung ATIV S, HTC 8S and 8X, HTC One X+, LG Optimus G, Nokia Lumia 920 and the LG Nexus 4. If you’re thinking about getting a new phone it’ll be a tough decision, especially with all the upcoming price plan promos that the carriers will be releasing.
Are any of the new powerful/higher spec’d smartphones tempting you to change your device? Or will you be waiting for “the next big thing?” Take our latest poll about “how often do you change phone?”