Computer tablet ownership in New Zealand is expected to triple in the next six months - meaning 20 per cent of the population will soon be using online devices such as the iPad, new research from Ericsson shows.

The Ericsson survey also indicates the proportion of Kiwis using smartphones will increase from 30 per cent to 50 per cent over the next six months.

Ericsson's strategic marketing general manager, Kursten Leins, said he expected this to increase to 95 per cent within the next couple of years.

"We haven't even reached the half point yet," he said.


More New Zealanders are choosing smartphones to access emails or use applications, he said.

Nearly half of New Zealanders are using applications on a daily basis, with the most popular choices being videos, communication and games.

Currently 7 per cent of New Zealanders own a tablet, this was expected to reach 20 per cent over the next six months.

New Zealanders were slow to purchase tablets, and the increase will bring New Zealand in line with the global average, Leins said.

He said the next step for smartphones was moving from the current 3G networks to 4G, which was equivalent to broadband speed.

Five hundred New Zealanders completed the online survey by Ericsson's research division ConsumerLab. The Swedish company is no longer a maker of phones and handsets but is involved in the rollout and build of the national Ultra Fast Broadband network.

Telecommunication Users Association of New Zealand chief executive, Paul Brislen, said if New Zealand was behind the global trend for tablets then this was most likely due to the production cycle, where tablets were available in America and Europe before New Zealand.