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Contact Information:
     Andrea Loziuk
     416.673.2246 office
     Krista Collins
     416.673.2290 office


The Secondary Market for Smartphones in Canada is at 1.4 Million, and Growing

- May 12, 2016 -

Toronto ON., - New data released from IDC Canada's Installed Base Model for Smartphones shows that 5.3% of smartphones are now made up of "used devices". These used smartphones have been handed down or sold to other family members, friends, or strangers, and IDC expects to see this trend continue to grow.

"Canadians are buying bigger, higher quality devices that have the capacity to last longer than the 2.0-2.2 years on average that Canadians hold onto them for (depending on the device and OS)," says Krista Collins, Manager, Mobile Research at IDC Canada.

"With many Canadians looking to buy off-contract these days, second hand phones provide a means to get access to high-end devices, without a contract, at affordable prices. And with some new flagship devices costing $900 or more off-contract, some Canadians buying new devices are looking for ways to subsidize the price with the sale or trade-in of their old phone."

In IDC Canada's February 2016 consumer survey, 21% of Canadians said that when they go to replace their current mobile phone, they are going to give or sell their mobile phone to someone they know, while 6% said they would sell it online.

Collins highlights four important implications of the second hand smartphone market:

  • More second hand phones in the Canadian market impacts the demand for new phones (although the impact is small today).
  • Second hand devices also serve as a way for Canadian's to try out a more expensive phone they otherwise may not have had the means to try out; a way to test drive a brand with less financial risk. And if they like it, one can argue that they are more likely to upgrade to a new phone of the same brand next time. In that sense, brands can leverage the second hand market to on-board non-customers, get them using apps and services around the devices, making the brand sticky when they go to refresh the device with a new one.
  • Certain models of devices may be hanging around longer than before, which means companies creating apps to run on these devices may need to support them longer.
  • Wireless carriers, device retailers and online stores will need to evolve to meet the needs of Canadian smartphone buyers, who are now more comfortable with the idea of a refurbished device.

For more information on IDC Canada's Research around Smartphone Installed Base and Secondary Market, please contact Ask IDC at

About IDC Canada's Installed Base and Secondary Market Research
IDC tracks the Installed base of the smartphone, tablet, PC, and wearables markets. The smartphone IB is segmented by OS, commercial/consumer, price band, primary vs secondary market, and forecasted 5 years out, providing insight around the devices in the market today in the hands of Canadians, and the resulting penetration rate. IDC can also segment the market by model of device, and region. This insight can be used to better understand the makeup of the Canadian smartphone market.
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting or .

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