Press Release | November 05, 2018

More Canadians Embrace Emerging Technologies - Smart Speakers See Exponential Growth, Says CTA

Danielle Cassagnol
While the most popular consumer technology devices in Canada are still 'the three screens' - televisions, smartphones and laptops - emerging tech products such as smart speakers and 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) TVs are seeing the largest growth in ownership among Canadians, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

CTA's 3rd Annual Consumer Technology and Ownership Study: Canada shows almost all Canadian households own a television (93 percent), 86 percent own a smartphone - up six percentage points from 2017 - and three quarters (75 percent) own a notebook, laptop or netbook. While these three screens are also the top three most-desired tech products Canadians want to buy in the year ahead, smart speakers are the fastest-growing tech segment in Canada - smart speaker ownership grew 12 percentage points from 2017, now reaching 15 percent of Canadian households. Wireless earbuds (up 11 points to 27 percent ownership) and wireless headphones (up 10 points to 37 percent) are also growing in popularity.

"Canadians love technology in their homes - and they're very tech-savvy compared to other countries," said Steve Koenig, vice president, market research, CTA. "Yes, the three screens are still Canada's most popular products - we see the same top-level ownership trends in the U.S. But our research shows Canadians also are getting excited about the benefits emerging technologies can deliver, whether that's 4K UHD TV bringing the movie theater experience right to your living room or voice-activated digital assistants letting you shop and surf the web with just your voice."

CTA also reports an increase since 2017 in Canadians' ownership of other emerging technologies including virtual reality headsets (seven percent ownership, up six points from 2017), smart thermostats (13 percent), smartwatches (14 percent) and action camcorders (21 percent).

 More than a quarter of Canadian households (26 percent) now own a 4K UHD TV - up 10 percentage points from 2017 - and almost the same total (23 percent) own a TV with a screen 60 inches or bigger, up eight percentage points. And CTA research shows robust demand for video-streaming technology - almost half of Canadian homes (47 percent) now own digital media streaming devices - and strong intent to purchase these devices (15 percent) in the next 12 months.

"Canadian shoppers are excited to get the technology that's essential to their everyday lives - 'hub devices' from smartphones to computers to smart TVs that serve as anchor points for our connected, digital lives," said Koenig. "Our purchase intent data shows Canadians very much plan to stay up-to-date on tech and take advantage of the latest innovations available."

The type of technology Canadians own most frequently depends on where they live. The report shows Alberta (92 percent) and Ontario (89 percent) have the highest percentage of smartphone ownership, while Atlantic Canada (74 percent) and Quebec (83 percent) have the lowest ownership rates. Among other regional findings:
  • British Columbia has Canada's highest ownership of notebook, laptop and netbook computers.
  • Alberta has the highest ownership of smartphones, videogame technology, fitness trackers and drones.
  • Manitoba/Saskatchewan have the highest ownership of digital cameras and DVD/Blu-ray players, but the lowest ownership of tablets or Bluetooth-handsfree calling devices.
  • Ontario has the country's highest ownership of smart apparel technology.
  • Quebec has the lowest ownership of digital media streaming devices, digital cameras and DVD/Blu-ray players, and the second-lowest ownership of fitness trackers.
  • Atlantic Canada has the nation's lowest ownership of smartphones, home videogame consoles and activity fitness trackers.
CTA's 3rd Annual Consumer Technology and Ownership Study: Canada was designed and formulated by CTA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer technology industry. CTA fielded the survey in August 2018 using an online random national sample of 1,000 Canadian adults (18+). The report comes at no cost for CTA members and is available here. A free executive summary of the report is available here.