Smartphone Adoption Nears 50% of Canadian Mobile Phone Users Aged 18 to 34 New survey provides comprehensive overview of Canadian wireless consumers

OTTAWA – May 26, 2011 – Nearly half (48%) of Canadian mobile phone users aged 18 to 34 report owning a smartphone, according to a new study by the Quorus Consulting Group released today by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). Smartphone adoption climbs even higher to 55% among those 18 to 24 years old.

The survey also found that fully four out of five smartphone owners say they have signed up to a data plan, compared to only 15% of regular phone owners. Half of respondents (49%) between 18 and 34 years old also report accessing the Internet with their mobile phone. Access to the Internet through mobile phones is significantlyhigher among: smartphone owners (73%); mobile phone users between 18 and 24years old (61%); cell-only households (42%); men (33%); and Albertans (43%).

“Combined with recent reports of record smartphone activations and wireless data growth byCanada’s wireless carriers, the survey results confirm Canadians remain among the heaviest smartphone users in the world,” said Bernard Lord, CWTA President & CEO. “As well, Canada retains the top spot in the world with more commercially available HSPA+ wireless data networks than any other country.”

The study also reveals approximately 58% of smartphone users have downloaded apps to theirmobile phone, with the average user having downloaded 12 apps, of which roughly one-quarter were purchased as opposed to downloaded for free. Smartphone owners that live in cell-only households (71%), those between 14 and 44 years old (64%) and those in Alberta (76%) were the heaviest downloaders of apps. Three-quarters of smartphone users who have downloaded apps (76%) use applications related to weather information, and over two-thirds (69%) use apps that link them to social networks, Instant Messaging or blogs.

Mobile banking and payment activities are also being adopted by Canadians, with over one-fifth (22%) of smartphone users reporting they do some of their banking or pay for products and services from their mobile phone. This is significantly higher at 30% among smartphone owners between 18 and 34 years old.

Canadians also report a high level of interest in 2-D barcodes, with nearly half of mobilephone users (45%) being aware of them, and 10% having scanned a 2-D barcode. Smartphone users (28%), mobile phone users between 18 and 44 years of age (17%), cell-only households (16%) and men (13%) are relatively stronger adopters of this activity. When respondents were asked what they had recently scanned, product barcodes (22%), barcodes in magazines, books and newspapers (14%), grocery items (14%) and BBM contact barcodes (14%) topped the list.

The survey also found that Canadians are using their mobile phones to support their favourite charitable organizations through text messaging. Half of mobile phone users are aware of mobile giving and 6% have already donated this way. Awareness of mobile giving was highest among those 18 to 34 years old (60%), with 12% having donated this way.

The 2011 Cell Phone Consumer Attitudes Study, completed by Quorus Consulting Group on behalf of CWTA, was conducted with Canadian households through a combination of telephone surveys and an online panel between March 14 and 27, 2011. The complete study is available on the CWTA Web site.

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Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)
CWTA is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents cellular, PCS, messaging, mobile radio, fixed wireless and mobile satellitecarriers as well as companies that develop and produce products and services for the industry. (

Media Contact:
Marc Choma, CWTA
613-233-4888 ext. 207
[email protected]