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Why the new iPhone XS series may struggle in NZ

Why the new iPhone XS series may struggle in NZ

Kiwis are keeping their old phones for longer, so new models could struggle for market traction

Analyst firm IDC believes Apple may struggle to achieve historic sales levels for its new XS iPhone in New Zealand.

The tech giant announced two new iPhone models overnight New Zealand time - the XS, featuring a 14.7-cm screen, starts at US$999 while the XS Max, with a very large 16.5-cm screen, at US$1,099.

However, IDC said because the iPhone X sold very well in New Zealand and Kiwis are keeping their old phones for markedly longer, the new models could struggle for market traction.

IDC’s recently released Consumerscape 360 survey highlighted New Zealand smartphone owners are expecting longer lifespans and need significant features to upgrade.

The average lifespan of a phone in 2015 was 2.6 years, in 2018 it is 3.7 years, nearly half as long again.

"The iPhone X series has sold very well in New Zealand over the past 9 months, combined with consumer preferences for longer lifespans, the XS series may have trouble reaching those same consumers who have already bought an X," said Alex Yuen, market analyst at IDC.

The average selling price for New Zealand smartphones, meanwhile, have increased yearly, and is still forecast to do so by 5 per cent a year over the next five years, Yuen said.

"This is due to consumers moving towards premium phones which consumers value for their longer expected lifespans," Yuen added.

The Consumerscape 360 report also showed that New Zealanders now own an average of 4.2 electronic devices, of which 77 per cent are “smart devices”, up from 67 per cent in 2017.

Smart TVs in particular are now becoming pervasive in New Zealand homes - they are the third most used smart device behind smartphones and laptops with an adoption rate of 44 per cent, second only to South Korea in Smart TV adoption.


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