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Research Results

New Zealanders moving smartly away from standard mobiles

26 Mar 13

New Zealanders moving smartly away from standard mobiles
Smartphone use up 13.9% in 9 months, ahead of 20% annual forecast

More adults in New Zealand now have a smartphone than a standard mobile.


The number of adults with smartphones has reached nearly 50%, while the number with standard mobiles is 45.2%.


More than 456,000 more adults now have a smartphone than in July 2012, a 13.6% rise.


The Horizon Research March 2013 Monitor of smartphone use by adults in New Zealand surveyed 2,161 people aged 18+ and finds smartphone use now rising at a higher rate than consumers had projected or foreseen when surveyed in July last year.


Horizon says its finds


  • 49.8% of respondents, or about 1.67 million adults, now have a smartphone, while


  • 45.2% are using standard mobiles (1.51 million adults) and


  • 5% have no mobile phone, about 168,000 adults.


The July 2012 Horizon Smartphone Market Monitor projected 55.3% of adults would have smartphones by July 2013 (an increase of 19.1%). The March 2013 survey finds there has been a 13.6% increase in just nine months.


However, the study finds a gender gap in smartphone use is continuing.  


Slightly more males than females have been acquiring smartphones in the nine months between surveys increasing the gender gap from 8.6% to 9.2%. This change is not statistically significant but confirms the gender gap in smartphone ownership is continuing despite a large increase in sales. Some 54.5% of males have smartphones compared with 45.3% of females.



% With Smartphones (2012)

% With Smartphones (2013)








18 – 24 year olds are now the largest users of smartphones, up 23.4% in 9 months.


Those aged 75 years or older have the lowest rate of smartphone use at 20%, those aged 65-74 are second lowest at 25.7%.


The largest increase in smartphone use by occupational group since the July report is among students, with a dramatic 34.5% rise. 71.9% of students now have smartphones.


85.2% business managers and executives use smartphones and this group had the second largest growth rise in the past nine months.  There has been a 24.1% rise in business executives’ use of smart phones in the past nine months, 8.5% higher than indicated those in this group indicated in July 2012.


The group using smartphones least is farm owners and managers (20.8%), followed by retired and superannuitants (23.4%) and unemployed and beneficiaries (37.0%).


In line with the trends reported in July, people in jobs that tend to be business based and in the city seem to have higher levels of smartphone usage than people in jobs that are more rural and labour intensive.


For the full March Horizon Research Smartphone Market Monitor please contact Grant McInman, Manager, Horizon Research, e-mail or telephone 21 076 2040.