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Canadian Consumers Embrace New Technology

Ben Arnold , Sr. Director, Innovation and Trends, Market Research, Consumer Technology Association
Like the rest of the world, consumers in Canada are rapidly adopting the world’s most cutting-edge technology. From video streaming devices that bring a wealth of content to the screen to voice activated smart speakers with the ability to order pizza, Canadians are quickly bringing technology into their lives.

According to the Consumer Technology Association’s Third Annual Canadian Ownership & Market Potential Study, the three most commonly owned technology products in Canadian households are screen devices, televisions, smartphones and PCs,- that have become virtually indispensable to everyday life.

Though ownership of televisions in Canada (93% of households) is as ubiquitous as it is in other regions of the world, Canadians have also embraced TV’s newest technological innovations.  Ownership of 4K/UHD sets stands at one in four households (26%), up from just 17% a year ago.  Additionally, half (51%) of Canadian homes own an internet connected TV. While these findings point to the adoption of new TV technologies, they also show the evolution of content in the home, as consumers choose higher resolution movies and films more commonly sourced from cloud streaming services. 

At 26 million devices owned across Canada, smartphones are the second most commonly owned consumer technology device. Further, more than a third (34%) of households expect to buy a new phone in the coming 12 months, making these devices the most desired consumer technology product measured in CTA’s study.  

Feature enhancements such as larger screens, digital assistant access, and improved cameras will continue to drive consumer demand, just as it has outside of Canada.  Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, the rollout of 5G throughout Canada is expected to ignite a new mobile innovation cycle as consumers look to take advantage of faster download speeds, larger data capacity, and lower latency in their connections.

While there are many products that enable computing tasks, notebook PCs have emerged as the primary device formfactor for productivity, essential for work and other important household duties. As such, 75% of Canadian homes own a notebook PC, a rate higher than desktop PCs (56%) and even tablets (62%). 

But the use case for notebooks doesn’t just stop at work. The rise in eSports has popularized PC gaming and engendered a growing market of step-up components and high-performance peripherals designed to meet the rigors of serious gaming. Newly announced cloud-based services are expected to take a device agnostic approach to video game play, and drive demand for better broadband coverage about the home.

A variety of new products and innovations lie ahead to satisfy Canada’s tremendous appetite for technology. While opportunities exist due to the large size of the market, Canadian consumers also show a willingness to embrace new technology quickly. From 4K/UHD TV to the next generation of 5G enabled smartphones, the future of tech in Canada is bright.

Learn more about CTA’s Canadian Ownership & Market Potential study.