A survey by the global technology analysts IDC shows New Zealanders' smartphone usage has almost tripled in the last year.
The survey says the adoption of smartphones in households has risen 31% compared with last year, to 44% in 2012.
The study surveyed more than 47,000 consumers across 25 countries, including more than 1000 households in New Zealand.
IDC market analyst Shane Minogue says an increase in products on the market is driving demand, but New Zealand still lags behind other countries.
He says many smartphone owners in other countries are at the stage of repurchasing, whereas in New Zealand people are often buying their first smartphone.
Mr Minogue says there has been some delay with devices coming to New Zealand, and there had been a level of consumer inertia where people did not think they needed a smartphone.
Mr Minogue says improved connection to the internet could drive more growth in smartphones and other portable devices like tablets, as people choose to leverage off wireless connections rather than data allowances.