Kiwis still behind in adopting new tech

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 11:47 01/11/2012
Smartphones
Fairfax NZ
CATCH UP TIME: Kiwis still lag behind the international average in using smartphones, tablets and new viewing technology.

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New Zealanders's adoption of smartphones has risen dramatically, from 13 per cent to 44 per cent of the country's households in just a year, a consumer study claims.

Overseas, the average proportion of households with a smartphone was 59 per cent.

Market intelligence firm IDC surveyed more than 47,000 consumers across 25 countries, including 1000 New Zealand households, to identify their use, purchase intentions and brand perceptions of electronics and IT equipment.

IDC New Zealand consultant Shane Minogue said cheaper smartphones and service costs were one reason for the rise in usage among Kiwis, but there had also been a change in attitude.

"People perceived they needed them as well."

Twenty percent of Kiwi households were using tablets, and 68 per cent were now accessing the Internet with a mobile phone regularly.

However, IDC's annual survey found Kiwis generally still lagged behind the international average in their use of smartphones, tablets and new viewing technology such as "video on demand".

As technology changed, IDC said Kiwis were using their devices differently.

The most popular activities on both smartphones and personal computers were "low bandwidth activities such as internet banking and emailing.

But navigation and social networking was increasingly being done on the run with smartphones, rather than traditional devices.

New Zealand also lagged behind the worldwide average in the use of new types of viewing technology such as streaming TV or downloading video.

These activities took higher bandwidth and were among the "most underutilised activities, IDC noted.

Around 40 per cent of Kiwis watched TV on a PC and just 7 per cent on a smartphone.

However, New Zealanders were catching up with the world when it came to "user generated video" such as YouTube, probably because the clips were shorter and used less bandwidth.

Minogue said this suggested constraints on content and data caps was holding some formats back in New Zealand.

"We have already seen data caps being increased by the majority of providers and a number of new content offerings enter the market; however at present more needs to be done to really motivate consumers to go online and interact with video," he said.

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