By 2018, New Zealand Will Have 90% Smartphone and 78% Tablet Ownership Levels

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Nearly two thirds (64%) of New Zealanders aged between 15 and 65 currently own a smartphone and ownership levels are expected to grow strongly reaching 90% penetration in 2018. Android (64%) leads over the Apple iOS (24%) as the preferred operating platform. As smartphone suppliers continue to improve their functionality at cheaper price points Apple's market share is predicted to drop further over the next few years.

Frost & Sullivan's new research reports that over the past five years, mobile devices have transitioned from being used primarily for voice and text to more sophisticated multi-functional usage based on their mobile media capabilities.

Phil Harpur, Senior Research Manager, Australia & New Zealand ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan says, "44% of New Zealand smartphone users mainly utilise their smartphones to regularly engage with mobile media. 61% of smartphone users access social networking via an app or via an internet site at least once a month while the other activities that are becoming more common include job search (36% at least once in every six months), house buying (29%) and car purchase (29%)."

Smartphones are also widely used in the shopping process. Harpur elaborates, "51% of smartphone users have used their smartphone to locate stores, 31% to compare prices, and 28% of all New Zealand internet users aged between 15 and 65 have purchased physical goods online during the last 12 months via a smartphone, whereas 18% have purchased via a tablet."

As smartphone functionality improves with higher resolutions and larger screens, faster internet access via 4G networks, higher data downloads and more intuitive user interfaces, mobile media capabilities will increase and smartphones will be the preferred device over laptops/PC's and tablets.

"Boosted by improvements to processing speeds and upgrades to screen sizes and resolution, over 56% of smartphone users are watching user generated content such as videos on Youtube at least once a month, while 26% do so most days. Driven by portable tablets such as Apple's 2013 releases of the new iPad Air, usage for consumers on the move will also rise," mentions Harpur.

"Aided by a plethora of globally produced and hosted web content, an increasing amount of video content is being viewed on laptops, tablets, smartphones, internet connected TVs and gaming devices in preference to the traditional TV set, and this trend is expected to increase significantly over the next five years. Additionally, mobile devices are integrated into the overall lounge room experience through applications such as social media," Harpur added.

Just under half of all smartphone users read newspaper articles on a smartphone via internet / m-sites at least once a month; 31% do so on a daily basis. Although consumers increasingly read news, books or other digital content on smartphones, viewing levels of e-books and e-magazines are much lower than newspaper articles which are generally more suitable for shorter or on-the-go viewing.

32% of consumers download an album or a song from sites such as iTunes at least once a month and 27% do so from a streaming or cloud-based service such as Spotify. Streaming music content is proving to be a major disrupter to the business model of the traditional music industry as fewer consumers opt to for individual albums, whether CD's, DVD's or through iTunes, opting instead to access music libraries from sites such as Spotify or Pandora via a monthly subscription

26% of New Zealanders aged between 15 and 65 currently own a tablet and 42% of all households have at least one member who owns a tablet. Tablet ownership and usage is expected to grow strongly over the next few years. Penetration of tablets is predicted to increase from 44% in 2013 to 78% in 2018. Apple's iPad market share in New Zealand is predicted to drop from 59% to less than 40% over the next five years, as more vendors enter the market at cheaper price points.

62% of tablet users read a news article on an internet site / m-site or via an app at least once a month. However, a significant proportion of tablet users do not read newspaper articles at all online. Media publishers can boost readership by offering a more content optimised for the tablet. Within five to ten years, tablets and smartphones would have overtaken print as the most popular channel to access news content," Harpur explained.

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Tags: New Zealand 

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