Australia the new Smartphone ruler

Sept 9th, 2011

Most, if not all IT show visitors, IT forecasters, IT sellers -> -> and filtering all the way down the supply chain to your local electronics store/supplier… ….seem to believe the world starts in America, well just after Japan / Far East Asia that is. Thus for them, it follows that if the product was this successful in USA / the uptake was this percentage, then do the maths and the NZ or Australian market will take / sell this many units.

Here to tell you, this just might not be correct!

Here in NZ, has successfully impacted on Kiwi’s technology uptake with the launch of its Smartphone iPhone GIS property browsing app. (hopefully soon to be joined by an Android version)….and has been pleasantly surprised at its surprisingly fast take-up.

But what if we here down-under led the world in utilisaltion of this type of technology?

Could it just be that same antipodean spirit that still has us Kiwi’s renown in Sydney, London, New York as ambitious, “long hours working” industrious employees?

Sir Steven Tindall, Warehouse founder and KEA, issued a point last year …

New Zealand has the most globally dispersed population in the OECD with a staggering 25% of our highly skilled population living off shore.

As has been broadcast for ages, the fact “that we are so far from anywhere” gives us somewhere to “hang our hat” when looking for reasons. Hey…we also don’t have to look far to see plenty of examples, like ones I’ve previously documented on this blog already!

Everyone has friends and family offshore and likes to keep in contact.

And its by no means, a new trend…..John Mulgan wrote Man Alone, a NZ classic, where he put it this way in the book Report on Experience ♣ (1947) of New Zealanders’ propensity for travel, and their need to return;

‘They come from the most beautiful country in the world, but it is a small country and very remote. After a while this isolation oppresses them and they go abroad. They roam the world looking not for adventure but for satisfaction. They run service cars in Iraq, goldmines in Nevada, or newspapers in Fleet Street. They are a queer, lost, eccentric, pervading people who will seldom admit to the deep desire that is in all of them to go home and live quietly in New Zealand again.’ (pp. 3-4)

So maybe all of this goes partly to explain the breaking news delivered in last Saturday week, Daily Telegraph…

…..under the headline “Smart Aussie call on Phones.”

That puts us well ahead of the US and the UK, where smartphone users make up only about 30 per cent of all mobile phone users.

Research from retail analyst firm GfK highlights just how quickly Australians are dropping their standard phones for new feature-packed models.

Sales of smartphones only outstripped regular phones for the first time during the first three months of the year. But, during the following three-month period to June this year, for every regular phone sold there were two smartphones sold.

This news means that by following the so called “worldwide” (read heavily USA based) stats /sales histories of mobile related apps / phones / plans / trends, many in Australia & New Zealand aren’t getting the full picture, and are potentially stymieing their channel or their business……let alone the opportunity that this rapid local uptake presents for new developer business. Anyone remember Derek and Geoff Handley’s multi-million dollar Hyperfactory sale last year??

My point.

With real estate being one of the more regularly used apps locally, we here down-under must continue to ensure we  are world leaders here. (because our usage is)  So, don’t just look at what has happened in the US or the UK, or even Tokyo. No design here needs to maintain a cutting edge, to be some of the best realestate app software in the world, do it down-under (local users are obviously demanding it!) and then take that to the world.

My secondary point.

This untapped ex-pat population aids both Australia & NZ in terms of our own organic real estate market, assisting to buffer each country in harder “real estate” times. These softer times, eg; GFC….are times when Kiwis and Aussies think of returning home too…..and this surely has an effect on things. I would hazard a guess that a greater percentage of these returning ex-pats “buy into” the local real estate scene more so than “normal migrants”…certainly faster anyway.

Last outside view – looking in point.

NZ pollies better get it right with the current future predictions for UFB rollout, 4-5G, ex CDMA bandwidth auction, and further…..because it will matter in coming years….especially down-under. And if their predictions / potential trends based on overseas experience…..then really there is only one country they should look to – Australia.  And why….if you want to see how liberated the average Aussie smartphone user feels….just check out their rates.


NZ ex-pats, second highest percentage in the world

The World, 4 degrees warmer…..

SOURCE – “Smart Aussie call on Phones” The Daily Telegraph Sydney Saturday 27th August 2011