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Canada Smartphones Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Smartphones market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Apple and Samsung lead the market and have established strong loyalty
  • Some consumers are ambivalent to many smartphone features
  • Foldable smartphones face an uphill battle
  • Smartphone ownership is almost ubiquitous

Covered in this report

This report covers smartphones:

  • Smartphone: a mobile phone that performs many of the functions of a computer, typically having a touchscreen interface, internet access and an operating system capable of running downloaded applications
  • Basic mobile phone: a mobile phone without the ability to run downloaded applications, typically lacking a touchscreen interface and often unable to connect to the internet. These devices typically have smaller screens, physical buttons and their capabilities are focused on phone calls and texts
"

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Scott Stewart, a leading analyst in the Technology and Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The primary focus of this Report will be to better understand smartphone ownership, purchase decisions and overall attitudes. In particular, it will investigate what kind of smartphone consumers own, why they chose it, perceptions of the differences from one smartphone to the next and even a prediction of the future of foldable smartphones. The findings of this Report are based on the results of Mintel’s exclusive research and will help describe consumer behaviour in a market that is mature but shows no signs of slowing down Scott Stewart
Senior Technology and Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Some consumers are ambivalent to many smartphone features
            • Foldable smartphones face an uphill battle
              • Figure 1: Reasons for choosing current smartphone: price vs screen size, February 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Smartphone ownership is almost ubiquitous
                • Apple and Samsung lead the market and have established strong loyalty
                  • Figure 2: Mobile phone brand ownership, February 2019
                • Awareness, consideration and conversion are key focus areas for brands
                  • Figure 3: Awareness and consideration of brands, February 2019
                • What it means
                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                  • Growth in mobile payment infrastructure
                    • Smartphones are becoming a must-have travel accessory
                      • Increasing demand for tech privacy and security
                        • Ethnic population trends could affect the smartphone market
                        • Market Factors

                          • Growth in mobile payment infrastructure
                            • Smartphones are becoming a must-have travel accessory
                              • Increasing demand for tech privacy and security
                                • Ethnic population trends could affect the smartphone market
                                  • Figure 4: Canadian population estimates, by ethnicity, 2011 and 2036
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • Leading brands are using retail experiences to attract consumers
                                  • Smartphones are almost a necessity for modern lifestyles
                                    • Mobile data plans are getting cheaper
                                      • Huawei’s brand is battling political concerns
                                        • 5G smartphones are on their way, but not for years
                                        • What’s Working?

                                          • Leading brands are using retail experiences to attract customers
                                            • Smartphones are almost a necessity for modern lifestyles
                                              • Mobile data plans are getting cheaper
                                                • Figure 5: Fido, February 2019
                                                • Figure 6: Freedom Mobile, December 2018
                                                • Figure 7: Public Mobile, October 2018
                                            • Challenges

                                              • Huawei’s brand is battling political concerns
                                              • What’s Next?

                                                • 5G smartphones are on their way, but not for years
                                                  • Figure 8: 5G: The next generation of possible, March 2019
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Smartphone ownership
                                                  • Planned purchases, awareness and consideration
                                                    • Smartphone purchase drivers and usage
                                                      • Exploring the truth behind Apple’s brand loyalty
                                                        • Assessing the threat of consumer ambivalence
                                                          • Evaluating the foldable smartphone
                                                          • Smartphone Ownership

                                                            • Mobile and smartphone ownership levels are high
                                                              • Figure 9: Smartphone ownership, by age, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 10: Barriers to smartphone ownership, February 2019
                                                            • Apple is very successful with younger consumers
                                                              • Figure 11: Mobile phone brand ownership, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 12: Samsung vs Apple ownership, by age, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 13: Samsung vs Apple ownership, by income, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 14: iPhone ownership, by age and income, February 2019
                                                            • Samsung attracts a more diverse consumer base
                                                              • Figure 15: Samsung vs Apple ownership, by age, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 16: Samsung vs Apple ownership, by income, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 17: Samsung vs Apple ownership, by household composition, February 2019
                                                          • Planned Purchases, Awareness and Consideration

                                                            • Most consumers plan to purchase a smartphone in the next two years
                                                              • Figure 18: Next planned smartphone purchase, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 19: Typically get a new phone every two years, by age, February 2019
                                                            • Some brands struggle with awareness, others with consideration
                                                              • Figure 20: Awareness and consideration of brands, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 21: “I would consider purchasing a BlackBerry”, by age, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 22: BlackBerry KEY2 Commercial – What is that?, June 2018
                                                              • Figure 23: Smartphone brand awareness, Asian Canadians vs overall, February 2019
                                                          • Smartphone Purchase Drivers and Usage

                                                            • Brand and price play a major role in choice of smartphone
                                                              • Figure 24: Reasons for choosing current smartphone, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 25: Reasons for choosing current smartphone, by age, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 26: Reasons for choosing current smartphone, Asian Canadians vs overall, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 27: Reasons for choosing current smartphone, by smartphone brand owned, February 2019
                                                            • Smartphones are used as entertainment devices
                                                              • Figure 28: Activities done on smartphones, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 29: Activities done on smartphones, by age, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 30: Activities done on smartphones, by gender and household composition, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 31: Telus ad, February 2019
                                                          • Exploring the Truth Behind Apple’s Brand Loyalty

                                                            • Apple’s brand value is very important to its customers
                                                                • Figure 32: Would consider purchasing an Apple smartphone, by smartphone owned, February 2019
                                                                • Figure 33: Importance of mobile operating systems, by smartphone owned, February 2019
                                                              • Samsung has developed a similar following to Apple
                                                                • Figure 34: Consideration for next smartphone purchase, Apple vs Samsung owners, February 2019
                                                            • Assessing the Threat of Consumer Ambivalence

                                                              • Many consumers look for the basics in smartphones
                                                                  • Figure 35: Worth the money to have the latest smartphone, by age, February 2019
                                                                  • Figure 36: Worth the money to have the latest smartphone, by household composition, February 2019
                                                                  • Figure 37: Sources of audio content, dads vs overall, August 2018
                                                                  • Figure 38: Worth the money to have the latest smartphone, students and 18-24s vs overall, February 2019
                                                                  • Figure 39: Worth the money to have the latest smartphone, by smartphone owned, February 2019
                                                                • Some consumers are indifferent to competing phone brands
                                                                  • Figure 40: Most smartphones perform similarly, by smartphone owned, February 2019
                                                              • Evaluating the Foldable Smartphone

                                                                • Foldable smartphones are likely to become niche gadgets
                                                                  • Figure 41: Galaxy Fold: Unveiling, February 2019
                                                                  • Figure 42: Huawei Mate X, February 2019
                                                                  • Figure 43: Reasons for choosing current smartphone: price vs screen size, February 2019
                                                                  • Figure 44: Activities done on smartphones, February 2019
                                                                • Why foldable smartphones may succeed
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                            • Terms