New Zealand Smartphone Surge

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The test of any technology is whether it is picked up by the mainstream, and here in New Zealand, smartphones well and truly have.  According to a recent Google study, 44% of Kiwis use a smartphone device on a regular basis – a number that is only forecasted to climb. We’re also using these phones in much more diverse ways. Some interesting facts revealed by the study included:

  • New Zealanders are using smartphones despite poor technological infrastructure.
  • New Zealanders are using smartphones to find on entertainment and services.
  • New Zealanders are using smartphones to do research and be more informed consumers.

New Zealand as a nation is not known for being especially cutting edge in terms of technology, with delayed releases of new gadgets, lacklustre internet speeds and bandwidth, and overpriced mobile data. The fact that smartphones have been adopted at such a high rate despite these limitations shows how readily accepting the average person is of this new technology. It is not only for those who can afford the larger data plans – Kiwis of all walks of life want to get on board with smartphones.

One of the major ways smartphones are now used by New Zealanders is to find information. Performing web searches, looking up product info, seeking restaurant and entertainment reviews, and reading news portals are all ways people are using mobiles to get their info on the world around them. For businesses, this is a fact that can’t be ignored. More and more Kiwis demand information on the go, and will favour the service, product or location that provides it. 88% of people who searched for local information on their smartphone acted upon it.

In the same vein, New Zealand consumers are also using smartphones to make better purchases. By comparing reviews and prices online, they decide whether or not buy the item in front of them. If you remain blissfully unaware of this new way to evaluate spending, it’s going to leave you high and dry.

Crossing from fringe gadgetry to mainstream usability is a big step that has taken many years, but with numbers like these, it’s clear the transition has officially been made here in New Zealand. Kiwis are ready to adopt smartphones as part of their daily lives, and to embrace the new functionalities they bring.

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Katie is a lover of words and art, born and raised in Christchurch. With a BA in English and Japanese, she’s happiest tapping away at her keyboard writing copy or articles, or else working on the latest illustration. To balance the creative side, Katie is also very motivated and a bit of a perfectionist, which helps with her SEO duties. Although her hobbies could probably be described as art, art and more art, she also enjoys long walks, good friends and travel.

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