Report on tech trends across Canada reveals Albertans buy the most gadgets

Albertans are buying smartphones and tablets more than any other consumers in Canada — and they prefer Apple products — while francophones living in Quebec City are least likely to have one of the devices, according to a new report by the Media Technology Monitor, which compares how consumers across the country are embracing technology.

Albertans are buying smartphones and tablets more than any other consumers in Canada — and they prefer Apple products — while francophones living in Quebec City are least likely to have one of the devices, according to a new report by the Media Technology Monitor, which compares how consumers across the country are embracing technology.

Alberta is iPhone country, Toronto consumers and anglophones living in Montreal are the most faithful to BlackBerry, while Vancouverites are most into Google Android phones, suggests the data, which is based on surveys with more than 12,000 Canadians conducted last fall and this spring.

“It isn’t surprising to see that in a country as diverse as Canada that you’re going to see diversity not just between anglophones and francophones but also the regions as well,” said Andrea Sharkey, MTM manager of market insights.

About 83 per cent of all the anglophone adults polled said they owned a cellphone, while it was a nation-leading 90 per cent among Alberta residents.

Sharkey called the cellphone ownership figures in Alberta “shocking” and added that they’re probably not headed much higher.

“I think we’re just going to see that stay at a steady pace, at some point you’re going to see a saturated market, that everyone who’s going to have a cellphone has a cellphone and you won’t necessarily see a rise beyond that point.” About two in three Albertans said they had a smartphone — which is 10 percentage points higher than the overall average for anglophone consumers — with nearly half using an iPhone, about 25 per cent carrying an Android device and 20 per cent owning a BlackBerry.

Tablet ownership was also highest in Alberta at 35 per cent, five percentage points above than the overall anglophone average.

Sharkey said it makes sense that Alberta consumers are so plugged in given how hot the labour market is there.

“Certainly any time you have an economic boom in certain parts of the country you’re going to see people adopt technology that might be slightly more expensive, whether that be the tablet or the smartphone or a smart TV or advanced services for them,” she said.

British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were tied as the provincial leaders in social media usage, with 65 per cent of the respondents in those provinces saying they were users of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, compared to the overall anglophone average of 62 per cent.

Ontario had the highest numbers of Twitter users (17 per cent) and LinkedIn users (19 per cent), while the Atlantic provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan tied for the largest proportion of Facebook users (61 per cent).

Overall, 57 per cent of all anglophone adults said they were on Facebook, and 16 per cent each said the same of Twitter and LinkedIn.

Struggling BlackBerry still had about a third of the smartphone market in Ontario, where it was in a dead heat with Apple and Android. About 18 per cent of both Toronto consumers and anglophones living in Montreal said they still used a BlackBerry.

About 19 per cent of Vancouver consumers had gone with an Android phone, while the Google operating system had about 30 per cent of the smartphone market in the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia.

Only 68 per cent of francophones in Quebec City owned a cellphone — just over half had a smartphone — and 18 per cent had a tablet, which were the lowest results among those surveyed.

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