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Research Results

Adult smartphone ownership will hit 79% within year

14 Nov 14

Adult smartphone ownership will hit 79% within year
8 out of 10 adults will have smartphones by September 2015

Around 79% of all adults in New Zealand will have a smartphone by September next year.


A Horizon Research survey finds 69% of people aged 18+ now have smartphones.

Another 10.4% say they intend to get one by next September, leaving just 20.7% of the adult population without one.


That means around 332,700 more using smartphones by September 2015.


By that time around 2,540,000 adults will have one of the devices – a major market for telephone service providers, retail, advertising and other businesses.


Within a year 21% only of the adult population will not have one of the smart devices.

Among some groups, like those with personal incomes of more than $150,000 a year, the research indicates all have a smartphone already.


Ownership by gender:

Latest results continue to show more men (78%) own smartphones than women (60%).


The survey finds 15% of women say they intend to get one in the next 12 months compared with 5.4% of men. Some 16.4% of men and 24.9% of women say they have no plan to get a smartphone.



Nine out of 10 of respondents aged 18-24 had a smartphone and 86% of those aged 25-34. Ownership decreased by age to 47.6% of those aged 65-74 and 23% of those aged 75+.


Personal income:

Smartphone ownership hits 100% among those with personal incomes above $150,000 a year.


It is lowest among those earning between $20,001 and $30,000a year. About 89% of middle income adults have a smartphone.



Androids dominate the market (41.7%) followed by iPhone (19.6%) and Windows (3.3%) while 4.4% of respondents had a smartphone but were not sure what type it was.



By September 2015, 26.3% of Maori adults still won’t have a smartphone, compared with 25.4% of European/Pakeha adults.


At that time just 2.6% of Indian and 10.6% of Asian adults do not intend to have a smartphone.



Smartphone possession is highest among Professionals and senior government officials (89.8%), technical mechanical and skilled workers (88.6%) and business managers and executives (85.9%).


It is lowest among farm owners and managers (19.3%) and those who are retired and on superannuation (45.5%). Homemakers otherwise not employed are well connected (85.2%).


By occupation, farm owners and managers are the largest group intending to get a smartphone by September next year. 56.4% of farm owner/ manager respondents intend to get one, well above the 10.4% result for adults overall.


Horizon Research surveyed 1088 adults between September 13 and October 14, 2014. Results are weighted to represent the national adult population at the 2013 census. At a 95% confidence level the maximum margin of error is +/- 3%.


Click here to view tables and graphs associated with these results.


Full analysis and details on smartphone ownership, intending ownership and smartphone users’ current and intended use of online movies, television channels and online television and movie subscription services are available by contacting


Grant McInman, Manager, Horizon Research


Telephone: 021 076 2040

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