Latest smartphone survey suggests Canadians watching more TV and shopping from their device

A new day brings with it a new report on the Canadian smartphone landscape.

This time its Catalyst and GroupM with a survey of 1,100 Canadians who own wireless devices compiled into a report called “The Evolving Canadian Mobile Landscape.”

The survey’s results are interesting, though the regular warnings about small sample sizes apply here.

According to the report, Canadian smartphone penetration has increased to 68 per cent, representing a year over year growth of 24 per cent. That number is lower than what the Canadian carriers reported in their earnings. Last quarter, Rogers said that 84 per cent of its postpaid subscribers have a smartphone. Meanwhile, Bell and Telus reported that 76 and 81 per cent of their postpaid customers have smartphones, respectively.

“Most smartphone owners are already on their second or third device,” says the report. “In 2014, the mean number of smartphones ever owned by current smartphone owners was 2.12. In 2015, that number increased by nearly 12 per cent to 2.37.” While the report doesn’t state the exact reason for this uptick, the CRTC’s decision to force the carriers to transition away from three-year to two-years contracts likely had an effect.

The average age of a smartphone user also increased over the past twelve months, according to Catalyst’s report. Within the population it surveyed, the majority of smartphone owners were in the 25-34 and 45-54 age brackets.

The most interesting part of the report, however, reveals how Canadians are using their smartphones. Catalyst and GroupM asked respondents where they use their smartphone, and their data suggests that at-home smartphone usage has increased while on-the-go activity has declined. More Canadians are watching TV shows, shopping online, reading news article and accessing Facebook via their smartphone, it says. In 2014, smartphone owners reported having an average of 26 apps, but a year later that number became “more selective” and dropped to less than 19. The only group that didn’t show reduced smartphone and app usage was the 18-24 age bracket.

Finally, when it comes to smartphones, poor battery life seems to be the biggest frustration for Canadians, followed by small screen size, though the report doesn’t state what survey respondents classify as small.