Nearly half of all New Zealanders with a mobile phone will be using a smartphone by the end of the year, according to research by global telecommunications company Ericsson.
Smartphones have already penetrated a third of the local cellphone market, and the research suggests that will have risen to 45 per cent by year's end, as New Zealanders follow trends in other parts of the Asia-Pacific region.
The Ericsson figures compare New Zealand uptake of smartphones and tablets with Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, where penetration rates are ahead of world trends, with 51 per cent of users currently carrying a smartphone and two-thirds expected to be doing so by the end of the year.
New Zealand's rates are directly in line with global trends.
The same survey shows an even steeper uptake of tablets, although from a lower base, with some seven per cent of the New Zealand market owning a tablet device, such as an iPad, rising to 20 per cent by year-end, in part driven by Christmas gift-giving trends.
Some 62 per cent of New Zealand mobile and tablet device users are already using applications or 'apps' of some sort, with that rate predicted to rise to 69 per cent by the end of the year.
When it comes to what smartphones are being used for, Kiwis are in line with regional trends, but are less enthusiastic about receiving work emails on their phones, with only 23 per cent capitulating to that urge, compared with 43 per cent in the wider region.
Other areas where New Zealanders are proving slower to use their phones include "mobile wallets" to make payments on the go, and in software that turns spoken words into text messages.
Video calling is used by just 14 per cent of New Zealanders, compared to a 28 per cent average in the region.