According to IDC, a total of 336,000 units were shipped during this period. In contrast, Australia's handset market saw a larger drop of 7.6 percent in the same quarter.
The decline in phone demand can be attributed to economic uncertainty. IDC identifies several factors contributing to this, including the upcoming budget, general election, concerns about inflation, recession, and high interest rates that were prevailing at the time.
The market channel is currently saturated with inventory, prompting vendors to streamline their range of devices while introducing new models to attract customers. Zachary Candy, the lead analyst for Mobile Phones Research at IDC New Zealand, notes a shift towards more premium devices in the first quarter. Large shipments of Apple's iPhone 14 series and the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S23 series contributed to maintaining a high average selling price.
Samsung reclaimed the top position as the best-selling phone brand during the quarter, surpassing Apple. With a 44.3 percent market share, the Korean company outperformed its competitors, while Apple accounted for 36.9 percent of handset sales in the same period. IDC highlights the strong performance of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series and the continued popularity of the iPhone 14 series.
Two other notable players in the market are Oppo, holding a 9.8 percent market share, and One New Zealand, which offers its own-branded phones that were previously sold under the Vodafone badge.
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