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Look who's going to get a smartphone

16 Nov 15

Look who's going to get a smartphone
92% will have a smartphone by November 2016

92% of New Zealand adults will have a smartphone in next 12 months.

Smartphone ownership among adults has risen from 69% to 79.5% in the past year, according to a new nationwide survey by Horizon Research.

In an October 2014 study Horizon forecast 10.4% more adults would acquire a smartphone during the following 12 months. This month’s research bears that out with a 10.5% rise to 79.5%.

The equivalent of 2,543, 173 people aged 18+ now have a smartphone.

Horizon says another 11.4% of adults – equivalent to 364, 681 adults – intend to acquire a smartphone during the next 12 months.

The adult smartphone acquisition rate will increase from an average of 920 a week to 1000 a week during the next year.

The research indicates only 12% of New Zealand adults will not have a smartphone by November next year.

Horizon says the adoption of smartphone technology by about nine out of every 10 adults has significant implications for those providing products and services.


In the past year, however, the smartphone gender gap has remained the same: 82.5% of male adults have a smartphone, 64.4% of adult women. The 18% gap is the same as in 2014.


By occupation, 100% of professionals, senior government officials, business managers and executives and farm owners and managers now have a smartphone.

86.7% of business proprietors and self-employed have smartphones, along with 79% of home-makers otherwise not employed. Rates are lower among the retired and super annuitants (63%) and unemployed or beneficiaries (42%).

The primary occupations of those intending to acquire one in the next year include business proprietors and self-employed, technical and skilled workers, farm labourers and domestic workers, the retired and unemployed.

Activity type:

By main business activity type, smartphone penetration is 100% in manufacturing, accommodation, cafes or restaurants, retail trade, wholesale and cultural and recreational services. It is at 97% in construction. It is lowest (26%) in health and community services.

Favoured types:

There is a distinct preference for smartphone brand in different sectors:

iPhones are favoured over android ones in the wholesale trade by 63% to 37% and agriculture, forestry or fishing by 53% to 35%.

Androids are favoured over iPhones by 61% to 39% in the accommodation, café or restaurant sector, 77% to 20% in construction. 82% of those in personal and other services have android smartphones.

IPhones are also owned more than androids by those aged 18-24, 25-34, 35-44 and 65-74. Among those aged 75+, androids and iPhones are equally preferred.

Horizon says the latest survey, conducted between October 30 and November 16, 2015, indicates adult smartphone ownership will reach 92% by this time next year.

The survey represents the adult population at the last census. The maximum margin of error, at a 95% confidence level, is +/- 5.5%. No respondents to the October 2014 smartphone ownership survey were invited to respond to the 2015 survey.

To inquire about purchasing this and other research, please contact

Grant McInman, Manager, Horizon Research

Telephone: 021 076 2040