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Once a luxury, smartphones are now an essential part of life

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Smartphones are now ubiquitous, and for the more than 25 million Canadians who own one, they are the single most important device they own.

A recent survey by Google noted that smartphones are so engrained in our lifestyles, most of us check our phones within five minutes of waking up. Not surprisingly, younger demographic groups, like the 18 to 24-year-olds, are way ahead of this curve – checking their smartphone is the first thing they do when they wake up.

“A smartphone is a direct connection to the social worlds we all live in today,” explains Paul Dayco, chief technology officer at Huawei, which commissioned the survey. “For many users, especially younger ones, the smartphone keeps them connected, informed and aware of what’s going on – whether that’s through texts, posts or actual phone calls.”

As smartphone usage changes, a fully-charged battery is taking on increased importance. The same survey found that almost 80 per cent of Canadians charge their smartphone at least once a day, with over a quarter charging their device multiple times.

“A couple of years ago, most people would wake up, check their messages and send and receive a few texts with their friends,” says Dayco. “Today, we’re seeing people who commute on mass transportation tuned into their smartphones listening to podcasts or music as they travel to work.”

On average, the typical smartphone user checks his or her device as often as 150 times a day. Dayco’s not surprised by the number.

“With all of the apps, all of the programs, all of the social channels and all of the services that are available on your smartphone, I’m a little surprised it’s not higher.”

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