200,000 iPhones in NZ - analyst

Yesterday over at Geekzone, a wannabe iPhone developer was wondering how many iPhones there are in New Zealand. A common question these days.

The well-connected Mauricio Freitas said  little bird had told him 100,000 (Vodafone and Telecom never reveal individual device sales).

I put the question to Frost & Sullivan, which the same day had released a report on the Australasian and Asia-Pacific smartphone markets.

The corporate consultancy reckoned the installed base of iPhones in New Zealand had reached 200,000 (bearing in mind Apple’s handset has now been on the market here for three years, cycling through the original iPhone to the iPhone 3, the 3GS and now the iPhone 4).

It’s too early for Google’s Android to have made any meaningful impact here, but what of traditional smartphone champ, RIM’s BlackBerry?

Frost and Sullivan’s Marc Einstein said, “There are a lot of re-exports, so it's hard to determine with certainty, but we estimate it to be around 125,000 for BlackBerry in New Zealand".

That gels with comments from Vodafone.

While it won’t comment on total sales, the carrier has said that iPhone is easily its top selling smartphone overall, ahead of BlackBerry (Telecom also sells BlackBerry, but only a single model, and it targets corporate customers. Given Gen-i’s enthusiastic guerrilla campaign to unofficially push the iPhone, and Telecom's iPhone-specific data plans,  it’s quite possible the telco has sold more Apple handsets than RIM handsets).

From 2% to 62% of sales
But beyond the jockeying between Google, RIM and Apple (and soon Microsoft with Windows Phone 7), Frost & Sullivan sees a booming smartphone for everybody.

Its report out yesterday said that smartphones account for 2% of handset sales across Australia and New Zealand (a little lower than Asia-Pacific as a whole, including Japan and Korea, which is pegged at 5%).

By 2015, it’s picking that 62% of handsets sold in Australasia will be smartphones.

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