New Zealand Smartphone market share and penetration – the facts

UPDATE January 2013

New stats on mobile internet use and market share facts on New Zealand and Australia smartphone use have been posted in a new article on this blog, click to read the newest information here.

UPDATE 22 August 2012

More grist for the mill.  Some hard cold facts spotted on Twitter this morning for the split between iPhone and Android market share in New Zealand.  Both seeing roughly 1 android for every 4 iPhone, and say android is gaining. as at today App downloads:  iPhone 85,500 and Android 20,300 as at today App downloads: 450K iPhone, 120K Android; and they also announced they are seeing 1000 mobile initiated listings/day.

Note I found it easy to find the link to app on RealEstate but couldn’t find it at all on TradeMe’s site.

UPDATE 16 May 2012:

We’ve found some great stats for Australian Smartphone penetration, and Google have just released a new report on New Zealand Smartphone penetration so we thought it time for another update to the last two posts (keep reading for those).

Here, our best informed guess was that 30% of people are using Smartphones in New Zealand.  That’s way up since we first talked about this subject in September (see below) when fewer than 18% of kiwis were on smartphones.   BUT Google’s Our Mobile Planet report of May 2012 says  44% of New Zealanders have access to a smartphone.  Download the full report here.  You can even download the entire data set.

The best comment I have had to date on this came from Andrew Malcolm, one of the smart young things behind ‘Applacarte’.  Andrew pointed out the obvious:

“The actual % of NZ penetration is irrelevant. The important figure is what percentage of our target markets are significantly driven by smartphone decisions. 18-50 yr olds with above average income in metropolitan areas is probably in the 60+% range.”

True that!

Secondly, according to the same Google study conducted with IPSOS Media CT, Australia has one of the highest rates of smartphone adoption in the world. Australia’s smartphone penetration is now 52%, a significant increase from last year’s figure of 37%.  Read the whole article here.


UPDATE 27 January 2012:

We’ve had an update on the below including carrier and market-share s0 we thought we’d share the new statistics, as they are very relevant and part of a substantial New Zealand Internet Use study – AUT: World Internet Project December 2011

The Study announces that usage of smartphones and other handheld wireless devices has grown apace, from 7% of Internet users in the 2007 sample, to 18% in 2009 and 27% in 2011.

The question the AUT: World Internet Project December 2011 asked:  ‘Do you use the Internet through wireless hand-held devices, such as a mobile phone or iPad?’
And, if yes, ‘How many hours a week do you use the Internet through wireless hand-held devices?’

More than a quarter (27%) of users access the Internet from a hand-held mobile device such as a smartphone or an iPad.
12% of Internet users, over 10% of the NZ population as a whole, spend 5 hours or more a week online from a wireless hand-held device.
And, the proportion of users accessing the Internet from a handheld mobile device for 10 hours a week or more has increased from almost none in 2007, to 8% of users in 2011.

16% of internet users say they download applications on a smartphone, which we will take to assume that this is number of Android and iPhone handsets in the NZ market, as these are by far the most common to have ‘apps’.

New Zealand Telco Mobile Market Share statistics:


Vodafone: 2,434,000*
Telecom:  2,079,000**
2degrees: 875,656***
MVNOs: 50,000****


ORIGINAL POST: 12 September 2011:

Looking for recent smartphone stats for New Zealand and Australia?

You’ve found them! Unofficial’ but… the most accurate we’ve come across this year:

Mitch from The Hyperfactory shared the following New Zealand mobile phone market share statistics at the September 2011 Brainy Breakfast (a Marketing Association event sponsored by Jericho).

Total handsets in the NZ market:

Over 100% penetration of mobile handsets of all types in market in New Zealand

Mobile carrier market share:

The mobile carriers market is roughly split -
45% on Telecom,
45% on Vodafone, and
10% with 2 degrees.

Smartphone penetration:

Of the over 4.5 m phones in market, it’s estimated:
800,000 are smartphones

250,000 are iPhone/iPad
150,000 are Android

Leaving 400,000 or so as Blackberry, Windows and Symbian (Nokia N series etc).  Clearly this will continue to switch as phones are upgraded and new models launch clouding things further – such as Nokia’s new Windows phone.

In summary we are looking at smartphone penetration in NZ in the range of 14-18% and growing.  Compares to smartphone penetration in Europe and USA in the 30-50% range.

In Feb 2011 Telecom shared that smartphone sales were driving growth with ’16%’ quoted – here is the article at PC World.

Meanwhile, in Australia smartphone use is second highest in the world according to this study on behalf of Google.  Read article here on Australian smart phone penetration.

What do you think?  Do these match up with your experience/best guess/hard data?  Note that smartphone use (the Australian data) and smartphone penetration (the NZ data) aren’t the same thing.  We’ll continue to add to this post as we get updated info.

Do you love stats?  The you might also be interested to read these other posts from our blog:

Nearly 2 million Kiwis Use Social Media ( this is fast out of date so a weekly stat update via Catalyst90 is here )

Nearly half of all adult NZers are now shopping online

What % of shopping online is done on NZ websites vs NZer’s shopping on overseas websites?

Feel free to read, and add your comments below.


  • Adrian Feasey

    If there are 800,000 smartphones in the NZ market and 400,000 are iphone/ipad or android .. that leaves 400,000 for windows, blackberry and symbian. Seems high. What’s the source?

  • roanne parker

    Hi Adrian, yes it’s true that seems high, but we’ve reconfirmed our sources and are confident that 400,000 or more smartphones in the market are windows, blackberry and symbian.

  • Pierre-Em

    We have similar figures (slightly lower though). 12% to 17% of the 4.5M NZ phones in use are smartphones (source: the horse’s mouth) . includes BB, Nokia E series, Windows 6.5, etc..

  • Russell James Smith

    Any idea on how those 150,000 Android photos split by Android version?

  • Vaughn Davis

    The Herald on Sunday today claimed that “barely 5 percent of New Zealanders own smartphones.” No reference was given but the article did reference Roy Morgan research elsewhere – so perhaps it came from them?

  • roanne parker

    Hey Vaughn, yes we can reconfirm that we’re confident that there are the approximate figures in market here. Love to review other sources if we see them, but ours is good and backed up by chats with individuals in telcos too. Its all very cloak and dagger but if barely 5% of 4,000,000 is 200,000 then HOS’s figures are not correct. Cheers.

  • Luke Pilkinton-Ching

    Hey, thanks for this! Find it hard to get useful NZ mobile stats!

  • Netfilms New Zealand

    Thanks, really great to know, and a very valuable source of info

  • Leanne Clarry

    Good Stuff :) Thanks guys!

  • Leanne Clarry

    I guess its worth noting that whilst there are that many connections… there is not likely to be that many phones. A lot teenagers these days have a sim card for each carrier and given that there are more connections than people… there must be a hell of a lot of people owning a work phone and a separate phone for personal calls…

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  • Alisa Higgins (IABNZ)

    Currently there are two stats flying around the NZ market around smartphone penetration. IABNZ says 30% while Google says 44%. The difference comes down to each party’s definition of what a smartphone is. I know it might sound odd however the telco’s definition is quite tight eg just because you can access the internet from your mobile doesn’t necessarily make it a smartphone. IABNZ and the Mobile Advertising Council (MAC) which has representatives from both Vodafone & Telecom will be releasing how we have defined it soon.

  • Rick

    Was looking forward to viewing the AUSTRALIA data set – xl spreadsheet was empty?? Any chance of it being reuploaded? Report is excellent by the way

  • Noem

    WOW and WTF. I never realised so many were connected by cell phone in New Zealand.
    Just add that up!
    That’s 5453868
    Even more connections than souls!

  • not_convinced

    The link is not to full data set, it’s just one line in a spreadsheet. It’s impossible to use that data to measure how penetration differs by age group for example. They also provide no details as to how the sample were recruited or whether there was any attempt to make it representative of the population. It’s a shame that money was spent on a survey whose results are pretty much useless

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