One in five Canadians owns a smartphone: report

Almost one of every five Canadians now owns a smartphone, a new report shows. Looked at another way, that represents a third of every cellphone user older than 13.

The survey also found that RIM's BlackBerry smartphone was the leading choice in Canada, outpacing the Apple iPhone.

Market research firm Comscore Canada reported this week that 6.6 million Canadians — representing 19.2 per cent of the population or 32.8 per cent of wireless device users older than 13 — owned smartphones in March.

That is slightly higher than the percentage of mobile phone users in the U.S. (32.2 per cent), France (31.4 per cent) and Germany (28.3 per cent) who own a smartphone.

Comscore based its ownership estimates on a survey of 5,000 mobile phone users. It did not provide an estimate of the range of error.

Comscore is estimating there were 20.1 million mobile phone users in Canada in March, based on other research.

That represents about 62 per cent of the population and isslightly lower than at least one previous estimate of mobile phone use in Canada.

Comscore found that the top smartphone platform in Canada was RIM (42 per cent), followed by Apple (31 per cent), Android (12.2 per cent), Symbian (6.4 per cent) and Microsoft (5.1 per cent.)

Ipsos Reid had reported a week earlier that 31 per cent of 834 of Canadian internet users surveyed in March own a smartphone, up 50 per cent from a year before.

Ipsos estimated that its data would be accurate within 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. But that would be the case if eveyone who was asked to take the survey responded, Ipsos said, and it did not provide the real response rate, so the actual error rate may be different.

The difference between the Ipsos numbers and the Comscore numbers may be partly due to differences in sample size and methods. According to Ipsos, internet users represent about 85 per cent of the Canadian population, but may disproportionately exclude older, lower income and rural-dwelling Canadians.

Ipsos found that smartphone ownership was especially high among respondents aged 18 to 34 — 46 per cent of them owned a smartphone and they used it 20.6 hours a week, compared to an overall average of 17.3 hours a week.

Comscore reported that among all surveyed mobile phone users, 32.7 per cent used a mobile browser, 48.9 per cent took photos and 25.4 per cent used social networking sites or blogs.

Among the 256 smartphone users surveyed by Ipsos, 70 per cent took photos and 48 per used their smartphones to check social networking sites.