Smartphone Penetration In Canada Increasing Says J.D. Power

I got some news from J.D. Power today with some interesting news. It looks like 54% of Canadians have a smartphone. That’s up from 36% last year. That’s one hell of a jump. But the news doesn’t stop there:

While more customers use smartphones in 2012, compared with 2011, the study finds that the brands they select are shifting. Among smartphone owners in this study, 33 per cent of their devices are Blackberry, down from 42 per cent in 2011. Apple (30 per cent) and Samsung (13 per cent) have each increased their share by four percentage points from 2011.

RIM must not have liked that part of the study. But there’s more:

The study finds that overall wireless satisfaction in 2012 has improved by 37 index points to 685 (on a 1,000-point scale), up from 648 in 2011. This increase is primarily due to significant satisfaction increases in cost of service (+51 points), as well as in account management and offerings and promotions (+38 points each).
Despite the additional customer investment and monthly spending often associated with smartphones, the reported average monthly spend remains steady at nearly $70.  Meanwhile, satisfaction levels with service costs among wireless customers purchasing new, switching or upgrading their existing mobile phone in the past six months have actually risen to 707, compared to 690 in 2011.
“Carriers have clearly responded to this mainstreaming and increased competition by providing more cost-effective offerings that demonstrate superior value for both full-service and stand-alone customers,” said [Adrian] Chung [account director at J.D. Power and Associates].

That kind of surprised me. But this didn’t:

Study findings also indicate carriers are improving communications to provide customers with billing clarity that enables them to better manage their accounts. In some cases, this is achieved through unlimited data plans.  Overall satisfaction among customers with unlimited data plans (733) is higher than among customers with tiered plans (700). While penetration for unlimited data plans remains low (12 per cent), 31 per cent of wireless customers indicate a preference for this type of plan.
“Customers prefer the monthly bill predictability of unlimited plans. With the proliferation of applications, Web browsing and streaming, unlimited plans can accommodate customers’ increased data demands, which provides them with greater usage flexibility,” said Chung.

Take note carriers. Speaking of Carriers, here’s who came out on top:

SaskTel ranks highest in customer satisfaction among full-service carriers with a score of 699 and performs particularly well in network quality; offerings and promotions; and customer service. Telus Mobility (693) follows in the full-service rankings.
Koodo Mobile ranks highest in customer satisfaction among stand-alone carriers with a score of 752, and performs particularly well in cost of service and offerings and promotions. PC Mobile (730) and Virgin Mobile (725) follow in the rankings.

You can bet some Rogers, Bell, and Telus execs are not happy campers at the moment.

What do you think? Does J.D. Power have it right? Post a comment and let us know.

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