A desire to browse the internet and use apps, combined with low cost devices, is driving mobile device growth in New Zealand says telecommunications manufacturer Ericsson.
According to its 2012 ConsumerLab report 7 percent of New Zealanders currently own a tablet device, and 20 percent say they expect to own one in the next six months.
Ericsson says this figure is exactly the same as the current average global results.
The survey found that around one third of New Zealanders have a smartphone, and this is expected to increase to 50 percent in the near future.
This too is par with the average global results, according to Ericsson.
Kursten Leins, Ericsson Australia New Zealand GM of strategic marketing, told Computerworld the key drivers for smartphone adoption is email and app use, while the range of cheap but capable handsets makes the transition from standard phones to smartphones much easier for consumers.
Similarly, cheaper tablets and a desire to browse the web and portability is driving uptake in tablets.
While the adoption of smart devices is on par with the average global numbers, Leins says New Zealand is behind the trend in neighbouring Asian countries.
"What these numbers shows isn't necessarily rapid uptake but bringing New Zealand more in line with other markets," says Leins.
The majority of mobile activity in New Zealand is SMS and voice based, says the report, but around half of New Zealanders use their phones to access the internet.
Almost half of Kiwi smartphone owners use apps on a daily basis, with communication/social networking (56 percent), gaming (52 percent), and video apps (37 percent) the most popular.
Leins says mobile app developers should look to building weather and electronic payment apps as a quarter of New Zealanders are interested in using those services.
The Ericsson ConsumerLab 2012 report is based on an online survey of 500 New Zealanders.