New Zealand's Smart Phone, Tablet Ownership to Increase with Cheaper Android Devices

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By Reissa Su | December 13, 2013 3:54 PM EST

New Zealand is set to increase its smart phone ownership to 90 per cent by 2018. According to Frost & Sullivan's New Zealand Mobile Device Usage 2013, 64 per cent of New Zealanders, 15 to 65 years of age, currently have a smart phone.

The report revealed that most New Zealanders have Android devices with 64 per cent, while those with Apple iOS devices are 24 per cent. As most smart phone manufacturers prefer to improve functionality of devices at cheaper price points, the report said Apple Inc's market share in New Zealand may continue to decline in the coming years.

Frost & Sullivan's new research said mobile devices have transformed from a simple communication tool to a more sophisticated device with multiple functionalities. Australia & New Zealand ICT Practice Senior Research Manager Phil Harpur said 44 per cent of Kiwi smart phone users primarily use their phones to engage in mobile media, while 61 per cent access social networks via applications at least once a month. Other activities commonly done by New Zealanders on their phones include searching for jobs, buying cars and houses.

Mr Harpur said smart phones are also popular when Kiwis shop online. He said 51 per cent of Kiwis used their smart phones to find store locations while 31 per cent compare prices. Using a smart phone, 28 per cent of New Zealanders have shopped for physical goods in the last 12 months.

As smart phones improve in functionality over time, users benefit from larger and higher resolution screens and with faster Internet access using 4G networks. Mobile media capabilities are also predicted to increase as smart phones become the more preferred device over PCs or laptops and tablets.

Tablet ownership

Tablet usage is also increasing in New Zealand with 26 per cent of Kiwis owning a tablet, while 42 per cent of households have at least one member in the family who owns a tablet. Tablet usage and ownership is expected to increase in the next few years, according to the report.

Apple Inc's iPad market share in New Zealand is predicted to decline from 59 per cent to less than 40 per cent due to the release of cheaper tablets in the market.  

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