It should surprise no-one to learn Samsung has moved past Apple to become the top phone maker in New Zealand.

The latest figures from IDC Research show Samsung has a 28.5% share of the smartphone market. Smartphones now account for 43% of the New Zealand mobile phone market.

NZ behind Australia on smartphone ownership

That puts us a long way behind Australia where smartphones account for 65% of the market. Why?

  • Australian incomes are higher than New Zealand salaries. Buying a smartphone is less of a financial stretch for Australians. At the same time, Australian carriers offer phones with plans and in many cases lock phones to networks. That doesn’t happen in New Zealand. Although locked phones on plans often work out more expensive in the long run, the lower bar means more kit is out there in the wild.
  • Australians have access to a better range of phones and, usually, get the good kit earlier than New Zealand. It helps that there are 13 Apple stores in Australia — and that would certainly be one reason why Apple is relatively more popular over there.
  • Australia was earlier to the mobile broadband party. Telstra had a fast, relatively reliable network long before Telecom NZ got its XT network off the ground. And speaking on Telecom NZ, the company only began offering Apple phones when the 4S launched last month.

So why am I not surprised about Samsung’s success?

The phones are good

Many reviewers consider the latest Galaxy Nexus, which arrived too soon for the IDC survey, to be comparable with, or even better than, the Apple iPhone 4S.

I can’t confirm this. I can say the experience I get from an older Android phone is way better than I saw with the earlier Apple iPhone 4.

Android is a poor experience on a tablet when compared to the iPad, on a phone there’s no noticeable quality gap between the two rival operating systems.

Samsung’s Galaxy S II was the earlier flagship phone. Reviewers often compared it favourably with the iPhone.

2 thoughts on “Samsung top phone brand in New Zealand

  1. This is not a surprise because both Samsung and Nokia make better phones than Apple. Of course, the real reason why you would buy an iPhone is the ecosystem. You can get apps on an android phone but the quality and reliability of those apps is immensely variable. Apple ensures that the user experience remains relatively consistent.

    • Your point about Apple’s ecosystem squares with my experience.

      I use an iPad and an Android phone. If I wanted to squeeze more out of the phone I’d buy an iPhone because of that ecosystem.

      But I don’t, so I stick with the basic Android apps that came preloaded on the phone and a couple of newspaper apps (NZ Herald, Stuff, Economist and the Guardian). That’s pretty much all I want from a phone.

      Otherwise my forays into the world of Android apps usually end in tears. A lot of them simply don’t work as promised and are a waste of money.

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