An iPhone application developed by a group of Wellington 20-somethings is shaking up the ticketing industry, and demonstrates how smartphone technology is changing the way Kiwis use the internet.

1-Night allows people to buy and store tickets to events on their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

The five former school and University of Otago mates behind the company decided the traditional method of ticketing wasn't working.

"Ticketek and Ticket Master had a duopoly and secured sole ticketing rights across venues," co-founder Josh Dry says. "They've faced little competition while customers paid big overheads and waited anxiously for their tickets to arrive in the mail."

Existing systems require people to print their tickets but "nobody our age has a printer and if they do they don't have any ink", Dry says.

The free app is environmentally friendly because it eliminates the need for paper, and a tree is planted for every event for which it sells tickets.

Since launching last June, 1-Night has clocked up a database of 45,000 users and covered 250 events.

It allows users to scroll through events and buy a ticket to be stored with login details on their iPhone. They're also given a plastic Eftpos-like card which holds the same details.

Event organisers can include a barcode on their publicity posters which people can scan with their phone to buy tickets while the idea is "hot and fresh" in their minds, Dry says.

Entry to events can be gained by presenting the card or phone app at the door. Money and giveaways can be loaded on the card for use at events and 80 per cent of users are reloading other tickets on to it.

The company is working on app versions for Blackberry and phones with Google's Android.

The team has sold tickets for acts including De La Soul, Ministry of Sound and the 42Below Vodka World Cup, and is about to get involved with the Thomas Oliver Band, Red Bull events and music and arts festival Splore.

1-Night is one of several hundred homegrown Kiwi apps.

Graham Dockrill, director of sales and marketing at Christchurch web design company Hairy Lemon, says iPhone apps are the fastest-growing division in his company.

Hairy Lemon employs 30 staff and five are working on apps at any one time. The company has produced 12 apps.

Expectations on how to use websites are changing, Dockrill says. "People are too lazy to type stuff in, and just taking a photo is easier. Apps are taking the web to the next step."

Ben Young, marketing director of digital marketing consultancy Young and Shand, estimates that between 400,000 and 600,000 New Zealanders own smartphones. But the definition of a smartphone is becoming blurred with some only costing $99.

Kiwi developers have "thought outside the box" and have produced a diverse range of apps since the launch of the iPhone in 2008, he says. The average iPhone user spends $80 on apps.

The launch of Westpac's iSaver app, pitched by marketing agency Colenso, shows how mainstream brands are becoming involved.

"It's about getting local companies to catch up and buy in," Young says.

But New Zealand's expensive iPhone plans have slowed the uptake of the latest technology, he says.

"I noticed lots of teens using iPhones in Australia because they had plans which cost $40 per month where you could get an iPhone for free. Here you have to spend $120 to get one free."

However, iPhones here are the cheapest in the world because of currency fluctuations, he says.

A report released in January by Harvard Business School showed people in the United States spent 60 per cent of their leisure time with two or more screens in view, such as a TV, smartphone and laptop.

"If you saw an app that was advertised on TV you could download it straight away. It's about extending an experience across platforms. It's becoming a whole eco-system."

Homegrown smartphone magic

* The Ministry of Economic Development's Personal Property Security Register: The app allows secondhand car buyers to take a photo of the numberplate and tells them if there's any money owing on the vehicle. - Hairy Lemon

* Top 10 Holiday Parks' distance calculator and booking engine: Tells you where you are, where you want to go to and how to get there. The app uses GPS and allows users to book and pay for accommodation in advance. - Hairy Lemon

* Westpac Impulse Saver: Allows the bank's customers to save up to $50 at the click of a button. The idea is to make it easier for people to save on a whim rather than spend. The product is believed to be the first of its kind in the world. - Westpac

* Face Match: Matches photos by cross-referencing them with online tagging data. - Polar Bear Farm

* Lion Finder (tentatively named, in development): An app with an audio file which can be used to provide commentary, such as at a wildlife park. The app uses GPS and knows when you've reached the lions and will start with the appropriate commentary. - Hairy Lemon