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Global Consumer Mobile Survey Results 2019

Canadian Edition

In 2019, Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey polled more than 44,000 adults in 28 countries about their mobile habits, devices, and preferences.

In 2019 Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey polled more than 44,000 adults in 28 countries about their mobile habits, devices, and preferences. Just over 2,000 Canadians across the country were part of this year’s global survey, and we’ve noted the top five trends that stand out for Canadian consumers. These are only selected highlights; the full report contains much more information, all sliced and diced by age, gender, income, and region. To see the full report or have a customized deep dive on the data, please email tmtcanada@deloitte.ca

For now, though, we offer a peek at the five top trends that our research shows are the most important or newsworthy:

The global report is also available at:

View the report

1: Steady as she goes…except for smartphones

Access to consumer devices is generally flat compared to 2018, with most categories up or down a couple of percentage points. The remarkable exception is smartphones, up a whopping 5 percentage points in the last year to 83 percent in 2019, and up from 71 percent in 2015. Canada is a bit of a global outlier: most other developed countries have seen smartphone adoption plateau. In the United Kingdom, for example, the number was flat in 2019 at 88 percent, which suggests there may still be room for the Canadian number to grow. The biggest lift in the Canadian jump came from those 55 to 75 years of age: at 69 percent, smartphone adoption for that group was up six points year over year.

2: Bling your phone: Smartphone accessories are huge

One of our upcoming 2020 TMT Predictions will be that the global smartphone accessory market will be over US$75 billion. Canadians are doing their part to contribute to that. Earphones, cases, screen protectors, and memory cards are the hottest items, with Apple owners more likely to have accessories than Samsung owners (except for memory cards). As you might expect, age is a big factor: 18-to 24-year-olds have about eight accessories on average, compared to about four for the 65-to 75-year-old set. That’s driven by how people use their smartphones: young people are much more likely to watch a lot of short videos and listen to music daily. Music drives headphone sales, and videos drain batteries, so young people are also much more likely to buy power banks.

3: Canadians’ favourite phone brand is Apple. Sort of

Across all Canadian age groups, from 18 to 75, Apple (40 percent) has a healthy 5-percentage point lead over Samsung in the smartphone horse race in 2019. But that number is an average, and a misleading one: for those aged 18 to 24, Apple is massively out in front (a 43-point lead, 62 percent to 19 percent) and even for the 25-to 34-year-olds, Apple has a 12-point lead. It’s tied with Samsung for the hearts of the 35-44s. But for each of the 45-54, 55-64, and 65-75-decade breaks, Samsung has the lead (by varying amounts, but up to 12 percentage points.) Talk about a mobile generation gap! It isn’t just age, it’s also gender: although Canadian men are equally likely to choose Apple or Samsung, women here prefer Apple by 14 points, 45 percent to 31 percent. There are regional effects, too: In BC and the Prairies, Apple is ahead of Samsung 42 percent to 30 percent, while in Atlantic Canada it’s the exact opposite, with Apple trailing 30 percent to Samsung’s 42 percent.

4: The money app gap: gender and smartphone financial services

Canadians love using their smartphone for financial activities…but there are some unusual gender divides. While women are 6-8 percentage points more likely than men to check bank balances, transfer money domestically, or do other online banking, they were 5 percentage points less likely to manage their insurance or investments on their phones. And a staggering 11 percentage points less likely to buy or sell stocks or shares: Canadian men are more than twice as likely to play the market on their phones. Intriguingly, the numbers and gender gap remain steady when it comes to betting/gambling on our phones: 19 percent of men do this and only 10 percent of women.

5: Social media and age

Everybody knows that kids have stopped using Facebook. Everybody is wrong. Eighty-two percent of 18-24s and 85 percent of 24-34s use Facebook, higher than any other age group, and it’s about the same rate as in 2018. In the youngest group, the use of Instagram is one point ahead of Facebook, and Snapchat is in the same ballpark…but for Canadian millennials between 25 and 34, Facebook has a near 20-point lead over Instagram and almost 40 points over Snapchat. Interestingly, there is also a strong gender effect, with Canadian women more likely (by 12 to 15 points) to use all three of the social media platforms.

As we noted in the opening paragraph, we found more in Deloitte’s annual global mobile consumer survey than the top five trends above. Here’s a bonus of Canadian factoids:

  1. 57 percent of Canadians are playing games on our smartphones, led by 18-34s, of whom 70 percent play mobile games.
  2. Speaking of mobile gamers, 30 percent spend money on their mobile game…and 6 percent of all mobile gamers are spending $250 per year or more.
  3. Although no 5G cellular networks have launched in Canada yet, one in eight Canadians say they would switch to 5G as soon as it becomes available.
  4. Apple Pay took over from PayPal to become the most commonly used smartphone-based payment method for in-store purchases in Canada.
  5. As we predicted last year in our 2019 TMT Predictions report, smart speakers had a big uptick, doubling to 18 percent of Canadian homes in 2019. We do not expect that to continue: globally, smart speaker sales this year are likely to be flat or even down.

For more information, please email Duncan Stewart or the national inbox at: tmtcanada@deloitte.ca

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