What if your business was losing ground to the competition and you didn’t even know it?

It all comes down to smartphone users. Globally, mobile advertising rose to $288 billion in 2021. Companies are investing in mobile ads because they understand this is the best way to reach more customers.

And if you aren’t investing in mobile ads for your Canadian business, then you are likely losing ground to your competitors.

How can you gain the edge back? By learning about the usage of smartphones in Canada and other important stats. Keep reading to discover the most important smartphone statistics that can help you market your business!

What Is the Usage of Smartphones in Canada?

smart phone usage in canada
Throughout Canada, 33 million people have smartphone subscriptions. And over 86% of households in the country have a minimum of one smartphone.

This helps to show how ever-present smartphones have become in Canada. Once upon a time, a smartphone seemed like an expensive luxury outside of what some people could afford. Now, however, you are far less likely to run into somebody who doesn’t have a smartphone.

These numbers are especially important to anyone hoping to market their business, so you need a mobile-friendly website. As we noted before, if you aren’t investing in mobile advertisements, you are missing out on countless customers that your competition may later scoop up.

How Long Do Canadians Spend On Their Phones?

how much time spent on phone
In 2021, Canadians spent an average of 4.4 hours on their smartphones each day. This is a jump from the average of 3.9 hours that Canadians spent on their smartphones in 2020.

It’s important to know what the country’s smartphone usage looks like. After all, it’s one thing to have a phone in the house. It’s another thing to put that phone to use.

All of this time spent on smartphones (more than half the length of a typical work shift) shows why so many people are investing in mobile ads. When the average Canadian spends this long on their phone, they are far likelier to encounter ads and make online purchases for different goods and services.

How Smartphones Change How We Go To Bed

smartphones in bed
As you can tell, the average Canadian spends plenty of time on their phone each day. It’s fair to say that the smartphone has come to dominate many people’s waking hours. One surprising thing, though, is that smartphones are increasingly playing a part in our sleeping hours as well.

What does this mean? Well, for more than 56% of Canadians, checking their phone is the last thing they do before going to sleep.

Exact late-night phone activities may vary. Some people are completing the latest Wordle and others are checking their emails and text messages. No matter how you look at it, smartphones are now a part of our daily lives from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed.

What Smartphone Apps Are Canadians Using?

smartphone apps in canada
When Canadians use their smartphones, we can tell a lot about their behaviours based on which apps they prefer to use. And you may be surprised by which smartphone apps are most popular throughout the country.

Social media apps are the most popular choice for many Canadians, with Facebook being the preferred app among millennials. This demographic also spends a fair amount of time using apps such as WhatsApp and Amazon. Other generations, though, have different priorities.

What about Gen Z? This demographic is likelier to spend time on Instagram, TikTok, Spotify, and Netflix.

Baby Boomers are increasingly online, though their app priorities are a bit different. For example, this demographic is likelier to rely on the Weather Network app as well as the Fitbit app, and even the COVID alert app.

Related: Social media statistics in Canada

Smartphone Spending On the Rise

While many Canadians are using a smartphone every day, that still wasn’t uncommon before the pandemic because owning a cellphone wasn’t that rare. But we can tell how everyone’s priorities have shifted based on how much more money they are spending on smartphones now.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, 40% of Canadians have spent more on their smartphones. This refers to consumers spending more money on the devices themselves, including upgrading their existing phones.

However, other kinds of related spending are on the rise, including home internet, mobile internet, video streaming, and more. The less we go out and the more we stay in, the more we are paying for smartphone and internet-related expenses.

Smartphones and Streaming

smartphones and streaming
On the topic of streaming, the streaming numbers in Canada have been growing. Now, smartphone statistics show us that the total number of hours spent consuming video content in the country rose by 21% in Canada since 2019.

What is everyone watching? The most popular streaming platform remains Netflix. Amazon Prime and Disney+, meanwhile, round out the list of most popular streaming apps.

If you’d like to cut down on how much data you use, don’t forget to download things like songs and podcasts rather than stream them on the road! This is good for more than cutting down on data. It’s also a good way to make sure there are no disruptions to your songs and podcasts as you drive through areas of poor cell reception.

How Often Do Canadians Check Their Phones?

how often do Canadians check their phone
Up to 45.4% of the Canadian population checks their smartphones at least once every 30 minutes. This serves as a powerful indicator that the nation is plugged into their smartphones throughout the day.

According to additional smartphone statistics, almost 54% of Canadians use their smartphones while they are watching television. And almost 21% of the population even uses their smartphones during dinner!

There is no time that is “off limits” when it comes to smartphone usage. This is why digital marketing spending is on the rise: to reach more people who are using a smartphone at any given point during the day, especially with local SEO!

The Rise of TikTok

mobile phones and tiktok
Certain apps got a major bump during the COVID-19 pandemic. It makes sense that people would spend more time on apps when they can’t spend as much time doing other things. And no app received a bigger bump that the video streaming platform TikTok thanks to its small mountain of user-generated content.

How big a bump are we talking about? Out of all smartphone apps used throughout Canada, TikTok grew the most even as it became one of the most-downloaded apps in the nation. Now, Canadians spend almost 23 hours a month on TikTok alone!

If you own a business, that means you need to focus on creating both advertisements and content for TikTok. Ask yourself: do you want to leave money on the table? If the answer is “no,” you need to master its algorithms and start making content.

Smartphone Gaming: A Growing Business

So far, we have focused on how Canadians use smartphones to browse the internet and use streaming apps and social media apps. However, there is a growing number of users in the country engaging in smartphone gaming.

As you might expect, the number of gamers is more concentrated in the younger demographic. Of Canadians under 34 years of age, 70% of them play smartphone games. The overall stats for the country are high, too, with 54% of Canada playing smartphone games.

More and more developers are cranking out games to meet this high demand. And this is a very lucrative business. That’s because 30% of these gamers spend money on their hobbies, and 6% of them spend more than $250 a year, making them “whales” who help keep these games afloat.

Explosive Growth in Smartphone Accessories

smart phone accessories
By now, you may have noticed that smartphones are at the centre of an entire industry. It’s no longer enough to have the latest, greatest smartphone. More and more Canadians demand to have the right accessories as well.

This is another trend that is most prominent among younger demographics. Young Canadians (those between 18 and 24) have an average of eight different accessories for their smartphones. Older Canadians (those between 65 and 75) have less than half that number of accessories.

The popularity of smartphone accessories shows that smartphones have long surpassed being a simple convenience. To many Canadians, and especially younger Canadians, smartphones are now a lifestyle unto themselves.

Apple Takes the Smartphone Lead in Canada

Smartphones are a big business, and many different companies are trying to get their piece of this pie. However, there isn’t much competition when it comes to smartphone manufacturers. And concerning those manufacturers, Apple is the clear favourite in the country.

You can see this most clearly when it comes to smartphone users between 18-24 years old. This young demographic prefers Apple over Samsung by 43%. Samsung has more of a market presence among those 34 years old or older.

Apple is also more popular among Canadian women, with 45% of them buying Apple versus 31% buying Samsung. However, Apple’s market dominance is clearest when you examine the smartphone vendors’ market.

In Canada, Apple’s vendor market share is 52.93% compared to Samsung’s 28.16%. To put that in perspective, Apple has more vendor market dominance in Canada than their next five competitors (including Google) put together!

Over time, Samsung may become more of a rival to Apple throughout Canada. Right now, though, average Canadian smartphone users prefer the smartphone that Steve Jobs built.

Supercharge Your Digital Marketing Today!

Now you know the most important stats about the usage of smartphones in  Canada. But do you know who can help you make the most of Canada’s smartphone boom?

Here at HeyTony, we specialize in all things digital marketing. To discover how we can help you with mobile advertisements and so much more, all you have to do is contact us today!

Originally published . Last updated .


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