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Publication date: 21 Mar 2022

Tale of two halves for New Zealand’s Smartphone Market, as it drops 3.6% in 2021, IDC Reports


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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, March 14th, 2021 - The New Zealand smartphone market stumbled to the finish line in 2021, as supply issues and lockdowns negatively impacted the volume of smartphone shipments. 2021 delivered 1.45 million units, down 3.6% from 2020’s 1.5 million units, according to the latest IDC Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

“While shipments in the first half of 2021 grew 17% YoY and carried through the positive momentum seen in 2H20, the New Zealand market stuttered in the back half of 2021 as supply issues on chipsets and components impacted the market. Additionally, lockdowns from the COVID-19 delta variant limited shipments into retail channels,” says Maxim Wilson, IDC Market Analyst for ANZ Mobile Devices. This resulted in a 16% decline YoY in 2H21 as some key vendors struggled to fulfil orders during the holiday season. Samsung took the number 1 spot in the big holiday quarter (2021Q4) for the first time since 2015Q4, as Apple’s primary focus on the iPhone 13 series impacted supply and fulfilment of older models.

While supply issues are the major headwind in the New Zealand market currently, Wilson highlights a concern around a consolidating New Zealand market. “Apple, Samsung and OPPO accounted for 88% of all shipments in 2021, up from 79% in 2020. While supply issues persist, the reliance on a handful of brands could increase the current imbalances between supply and demand,” he said. Any longer-term issues affecting these three key vendors will likely not see enough shipments to fulfill demand, therefore the case for another key player in a basket of smaller vendors becomes stronger.

Despite shipments decreasing in 2021, the overall performance of the market was strong, as revenue in NZD grew 9.4% YoY. This was mainly due to standout volume in the ultra-premium price band, as demand for flagship devices across Apple, Samsung and OPPO stayed elevated all year. The NZ$1500 price band and above accounted for 20% of shipments in 2021, up 48% YoY. IDC also highlights the NZ$150-NZ$300 bracket, which grew 27% YoY. With component costs increasing we have seen ASP’s continually rise, as more models move into this price band and out of the sub-NZ$150 band. IDC expects this trend to continue in 2022, resulting in higher ASP’s, as inflation persists.

IDC is currently forecasting 624K units in the first half of 2022, down 1.4% YoY, as Omicron and supply headwinds remain. 5G capable shipments are predicted to make up 65% of total volume in 1H22, as vendors release mid-range 5G capable devices, and telcos increase their network coverage; 2degrees’ 5G network launch means all three network operators have 5G mobile coverage in the country. Apple released its first 5G mid-range device, the iPhone SE 3 in March, which IDC expects to perform well in the first few quarters but is cautious over the longer term given the small 4.7” screen size, in a market used to much larger screen real estate.

For further information on the IDC Mobile Phone Historical Release and Forecast 2021Q4, please contact:

Maxim Wilson

Market Analyst

IDC New Zealand


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