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Apple's iPhone most popular smartphone in Canada as BlackBerrys vanish: report

TORONTO - BlackBerrys are vanishing in Canada while Google Android ownership grows steadily, but Apple's iPhone is still the most popular smartphone in the country, suggests a new report.

About 85 per cent of the adult anglophone population now has a cellphone, while three quarters of them carry a smartphone, according to a report by the Media Technology Monitor, based on telephone surveys this spring with more than 2,000 Canadians.

The iPhone was the device of choice among 42 per cent of the smartphone owners, while a variety of phones on the Android platform collectively made up 39 per cent of the market.

To no one's surprise, the MTM survey found BlackBerry's share of the market has withered away in its home country.

In 2009, 61 per cent of Canadian smartphone owners said they used a BlackBerry. Now, just 14 per cent call themselves devotees of the struggling brand. BlackBerry's marketshare plunged by half in the past two years, according to MTM.

While Apple initially won over most of the consumers who abandoned their BlackBerrys, the Android platform has seen more growth in recent years.

Samsung in particular has made the most gains. Its line of Galaxy phones now accounts for 61 per cent of the Android devices in Canada, and 24 per cent of the overall smartphone market, MTM says.

Consumers in the 18-to-34 demographic and those with an income under $75,000 were more likely to use an Android phone, while buyers over 35 with higher incomes were more likely to choose an iPhone.

Cellphone ownership has barely budged up in recent years — suggesting that whoever wants a mobile phone already has one — but the number of smartphones being used is increasing.

As recently as 2011, the split of smartphones versus older cellphones in Canada was 50/50. And in 2009, just one in five mobiles phones in Canada were smartphones. Now, just under 80 per cent of Canadian phone owners have chosen a smartphone.

MTM also asked phone owners how often they're using some of the newer features on their devices.

Nearly 40 per cent of smartphone users said they made a video call in the last month with a service like Skype, Apple's FaceTime or Google Hangouts. Students were the most likely group to say they regularly made video calls.

About one in five smartphone users said they now occasionally watch TV on their small screen, and one in four steam audio on their mobile.

The poll results are based on interviews conducted by Forum Research Inc., between March 18 and April 19. The results are considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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