Canadians mostly not interested in wearables: IDC

Igor Bonifacic

February 25, 2016 9:01am

The International Data Corporation (IDC) is back with its latest report on consumer technology. This time, however, the multi-national research firm has Canadian-specific numbers to share.

In its most recent report, IDC looked at what devices Canadians would hypothetically replace their current smartphone, computer and tablet with, as well as what device they would immediately replace were one of their current ones to break.

In the first section, which looks at what single device Canadians would hypothetically replace all their other devices with, smartphones and personal computers dominated. 29 percent of survey respondents said their go-to would be a smartphone between 4-inches and 5.5-inches. 18 percent said they would first turn to a desktop or all-in-one computer, and 12 percent said they would go with a laptop or notebook.

idc canada wearable report

In fact, smartphones have become so integral to our lives that 75 percent of Canadians would replace mobile phone immediately if it were to break. By contrast, only 33 percent and 48 percent of Canadians would buy a new smartwatch or tablet if their current one broke today. This, IDC notes, has to do with those latter devices being less “sticky”. For most people, there’s just not as much functionality and usability to be found in a tablet as opposed to a smartphone.

The final section of the report looks at how Canadians view wearable devices.

idc wearable canada

In general, apathy is the name of the game when it comes to wearable devices. Almost 80 percent of respondents said they either don’t use or don’t care for wearable devices like the Apple Watch or the variety of Android Wear devices currently on the market. On the other side of the spectrum, some two percent of respondents said they couldn’t live without their current wearable device, and 15 percent said that, while they don’t currently own a wearable device, they would like to purchase one in the future.

The firm says this is more of an indication of how young the market is than a general disinterest in the technology.

idc canada wearable report1

  • Mr_Smoosh

    I find the screen size statistic interesting considering most manufacturers seem obsessed with ever growing screen sizes. Maybe they will start to listen.

    • marbles383

      Aren’t all the best selling phones already in the 4-5.5 inch range?

    • Scott

      I disagree. I think there was an up-sizing trend that happen over the course of a few years but in the last 18 months that has stabilized with most phones being in the range specified with some manufactures that produce multiple models having a standard and a ‘big’ phone.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      Agreed on the levelling off, it’s the small screen size that’s disappeared. I was speaking more to the trend that phones have been growing in size as a selling feature at the expense of smaller screens. Aside from the Z5 compact you’d be hard pressed to find a smallish flagship phone, aside form the upcoming apple 5se.

      I guess really, the 4″ should be a separate segment as a survey question, just like they did with phablets.

  • deltatux

    Problem is that watches only add convenience, and same with tablets. Phones are pretty much necessities these days.

  • Columbo

    Paging @It’s Me… you just called me out on this 2 days ago, do you believe me now? People just aren’t interested.

    • It’s Me

      Actually, no, I didn’t say you were wrong. I said you were obsessed with saying it about Apple. Which is true. You may have similar feeling about other wearables.

  • kevin c

    95% of wearable devices are actually accessories. Without an accompanying smartphone or computer, it’s a glorified watch or wristband.

    When the wearable is powerful/useful enough to *replace* a smartphone, I’ll buy it. In the meantime, you early adopters can go nuts and make all the demands, if only to push the manufacturers faster down the path when I will buy a wearable.

    • MBTechno

      I never expected my G Watch to be more than a glorified watch… That’s the purpose of a smartwatch! I don’t want my watch to replace my smartphone.

  • Eluder

    The big issue with wearables is that most of them are ugly and don’t fit into the style those of us looking to wear a watch, actually want. That’s a big part of why I’ve stayed away from wearables for so long.

  • Can’t Fix Stupid

    The manufacturers and the media trying to make this space a necessity for people…but people are speaking with their wallets…wearables while for some are useful , for some a curiosity and for a majority..useless. So be it…

    • Simbob

      +1 on this; Wearable are a just a new way of making up for ever diminishing margins on smartphones. Spending over 200$ on a watch that need charging every night, will be outdated in 3 years, no meaningful battery life before that time and a possible lack of software update and compatibility with other hardware is plain irresponsible.

  • Ron S

    I’m interested in wearables…but at an affordable price. Right now, it’s way too much.

    • MBTechno

      Yeah, 18 months ago my G Watch was $200, now no Android Wear smartwatch from the Google Store ship for less than $379. I understand that people don’t want to shell out $400 for a wearable.

    • Ipse

      ^^^ This and the lack of real evolution since first gen of wearables. The price increase does not qualify.

    • MBTechno

      Exactly. My old G Watch and the new Moto 360 have the same hardware and run the exact same software.