Québec Mobile Device Adoption Behind National Average

by Istvan Fekete on July 31, 2013

Since mobile devices have changed our lives and become essential tools, the industry has been pushing out a wide variety of new products and services, such as pods, tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc. Considering just the Android handsets alone, an OpenSignal study has identified 11,868 individual handsets in 2013 alone, compared to last year’s 4,000 handsets. This is an incredible growth.

Google has uncovered the national picture of smartphone adoption, but as the technology research group CEFRIO points out, that is the national average and it can differ by region. And when it comes to Québec the region certainly lags behind other markets. Penetration rates in Europe, Africa and Asia appears to be much higher, especially in countries where there are few land lines.

The CEFRIO study has found that the Québec economy, which has been performing below the national average in recent years, has affected the adoption of mobile devices: the cost of smart technology and monthly data plans appears to be too high for some to bear. And it doesn’t end there: as a direct result of the new CRTC wireless code, incumbents have started to roll out their pricing for handsets and data plans, and instead of lowering the prices, they have opted for a rise.

While the Canadian average stands at 56% in terms of mobile device adoption according to the Google survey, CEFRIO found that only 42% of Québec households own a smartphone. The methodology of the two studies isn’t the same, so they may not be directly comparable, but the numbers still show there is a zonal difference in mobile adoption.

Going into details, the CEFRIO study found that 27% of Québec households currently own a tablet, and 12% a digital reader. This could be considered impressive, as the tablet industry is new, yet it shows that there is a long way to go before tablets are standard items in Québec households.

Besides the obvious fact that tablet ownership is influenced by the family income, tablets appear to be more common among families with children.

Regarding the e-readers, “12 per cent for Quebec is quite low if you compare it to the U.S.,” says Claire Bourget, research director at CEFRIO. “But an interesting thing we observed is that older people use the reader more than younger people.

“We see that around 50 years of age, contrary to the tablets, the percentage of ownership for (digital) readers is higher.” That suggests growth of the reader might not be so fast in the future, she adds.

In the end, the trend is pretty obvious: wireless players are pushing mobile devices, and hopefully their pricing will be more attractive next year, after the 700 MHz auction takes place.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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