Most NZ smartphone users play with their handset while watching TV

Survey also looks at Android vs iPhone use.

A staggering 63% of smartphone users in New Zealand are simultaneously using their smartphones and watching TV, according to a survey released by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IABNZ) and 3DI.

The survey, of 482 smartphone users, weighted for age, sex and regional differences, follows a Nielsen study that found one third of the population browses the internet while watching TV. Laptops and tablets also featured in its mix.

For some it is a big multimedia mess as eyes dart hyperactively between multiple screens. For the IAB, it's a cross-platform opportunity.

According to the IABNZ Mobile Advertising Council, smartphone penetration is currently 30% up from 13% in 2010 and expecting to reach 50% early next year.

“While there are over five million mobile phone subscribers in New Zealand, the survey shows that income is a factor in smartphone ownership," IABNZ general manager Alisa Higgins says

"However, as smartphone handsets and data plans come down in price we will see this becoming less of a factor in defining the market.” 

The top daily activity on a smartphone is sending text messages followed by accessing the internet and checking emails. Using apps is No 4 on the list, which means advertisers need to understand the importance of creating mobile-optimised websites.

Other key highlights from the study include:

  • 49% of smartphone owners are using an Android operating system vs 38% using iPhone, although this could change rapidly now Telecom are also selling the iPhone.
  • 30% of smartphone users are comfortable having ads on their phones.
  • Majority have between 1-10 apps downloaded on their phones but only use 3-5 on a daily basis.
  • 63% of Kiwis are simultaneously using their smartphones and watching TV.