The number of Kiwis who own a smartphone has doubled in the past year, a TNS study has revealed. Twelve months ago 33% of New Zealanders owned a smartphone, but a year later, the figure has risen to 60%.
The finding was part of a study carried out by global consultancy firm TNS, which surveyed the mobile use of 38,000 people in 43 countries. Five hundred New Zealanders took part in the TNS Mobile Life online survey, which explored the behaviours, motivations and priorities of mobile use.
While the number of smartphone owners has doubled, the laptop remains the primary device used by New Zealanders for digital activity, with social networkers preferring to use their laptop instead of their mobile to tweet or change their Facebook status. The humble desktop computer is still the way most Kiwi men play computer games, while the rest of developed Asia play games on their mobiles.
“The results show that while the future is mobile, it’s still only one of many devices in New Zealand. But the number of Kiwis who own smartphones has risen quickly, and that’s largely because the price of handsets has come down in the past few years” says David Thomas, Director of TNS New Zealand.
Kiwis are increasingly willing to pay for technology, with respondents saying they’d pay an average of $403 for a new smartphone, compared to $358 last year.
Smartphone ownership has doubled, but tablet ownership has nearly tripled. Figures from TNS Mobile Life 2012 showed only 7% of New Zealanders had a tablet device, a figure that has now risen to 19%. The majority of tablet owners (67%) use it during the evening when they’re at home, with more than half (52%) using it whilst watching TV. One out of every two tablet owners surveyed said they use the device in bed before going to sleep.
Savvy shoppers are increasingly using their smartphone for ‘showrooming’, where a shopper looks at a product in a physical store, uses their smartphone to check if it’s cheaper online, and then purchases it elsewhere. One in four mobile owners now use their device to showroom, with the majority taking a photo of the product, or noting down the details.
The TNS survey also revealed how cautious New Zealanders are about downloading and using apps on their mobiles. 67% of respondents said they don’t like to download too many apps because they clutter up the phone, with a further 48% admitting to downloading apps that they stop using after a few weeks. A large portion of those surveyed (62%) say they will only download apps if they are free.
So what’s next on our shopping list? The smart TV could be the next big thing, 15% of New Zealanders already own the device, and a further 9% say they plan to buy a smart TV this year.