It’s a story Canadians love to tell: They’re happy to go about their daily lives, the phones they’ve always owned, are still going strong and have a great chance of getting the latest features in the next two or three years.
But they also recognize the need to update the technology to stay relevant and keep up with technological advancements.
The phone industry is in a bit of a mess.
“There’s a lot of money to be made, but the time for that has passed,” said Paul St. Cyr, vice-president of research at Canaccord Genuity, a Toronto-based research firm.
“You can’t just sit back and hope for the best.”
The cellphone market, which has been going through a major re-valuation in recent years, has seen a major overhaul.
In its first two years, the Canadian phone market saw a total of $6.2 billion in revenue, up from $3.8 billion in 2016.
In 2017, the total revenue hit $15.6 billion, up 14 per cent.
The smartphone market is a different story.
The sector saw just $3 billion in sales in 2017, down 9 per cent from the year before.
The market for smartphones was also on a downswing.
The number of devices sold declined 6 per cent in the first half of this year compared to 2016, while the number of smartphones sold dropped 8 per cent compared to the same period last year.
In fact, smartphone sales were down 8 per per cent for the entire year.
“It’s the end of the good old days,” said St. Louis, adding that Canada’s smartphone industry is a victim of the changing times.
“The smartphone has been on the decline for the last couple of years, which makes it a perfect time for an update.”
A number of factors are to blame, including the government’s push for wireless deregulation and competition from foreign manufacturers.
But while the smartphone industry has seen its fortunes and sales continue to grow, its future is uncertain, St. Paul said.
The federal government is considering a bill that would overhaul the country’s wireless market, with some experts saying it could end up making Canada a net importer of smartphones.
While this change could be a boon to consumers, St Paul said the legislation would also put pressure on the phone companies, who may have to look at ways to sell their phones overseas.
“I think there’s a real concern around the phone industry,” he said.
As the industry’s fortunes continue to decline, the impact of the telecom reforms will also become more apparent. “
That would be very bad for our business.”
As the industry’s fortunes continue to decline, the impact of the telecom reforms will also become more apparent.
The changes were introduced in 2017 to allow wireless carriers to sell smartphones to anyone over the age of 18 without having to get a licence.
However, the changes were challenged by major wireless providers, who argued they were too restrictive and would unfairly target their customers.
In a recent study, the National Post found that of the companies selling the most smartphones in Canada, three of the four — Bell, Rogers and Telus — were still selling smartphones to teenagers under the age 25.
This has created an environment where some young people, who would otherwise have no reason to purchase a smartphone, are likely to shop online, according to research from Canadian Mobile.
“One of the things that we saw in Canada was that there was an increase in the amount of smartphones that were purchased by younger Canadians,” said Scott Clark, executive director of the Mobile Trade Alliance.
“This has resulted in an increase of the amount that is being sold to Canadians between the ages of 18 and 25.”
A new report released by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission this week suggests that while the changes have had an impact, the new rules have not.
In the past, the CRTC has approved more than 1.5 million applications for mobile service, and there were 5,200 applications for services that were not actually licensed.
In 2016, the year that the wireless regulations were first proposed, there were 3,000 applications for licenses.
In 2015, the same year that licences were first approved, there was only 1,300 applications for licences.
But the number has since increased to almost 4,000 in 2016, a 40 per cent increase in just two years.
“While the CRC’s recent decision to approve more than one million applications is a good thing, the recent number of applications to be approved indicates that the regulatory environment is being changed,” said Doug Clark, director of research for the Canadian Wireless Association.
“In 2016, only two per cent of all applications were approved.”
The CRTC will not comment on whether the rules are still in place or are being revised.
“We do not comment directly on individual applications because we do not receive them,” said Rob Fidler, a spokesperson for the CRPC.
“However, we can