IDC data showed the New Zealand smartphone market stumbled in the second half of 2021 after registering double-digit gains in the opening six months, with the company predicting continued Covid-19 (coronavirus) and supply headwinds will slow shipments in the current six month period.

Shipments in 2021 fell 3.6 per cent to 1.4 million units, as H2 deliveries dropped 16 per cent year-on-year compared with 17 per cent growth in H1.

IDC market analyst Maxim Wilson explained component shortages and lockdown measures limited shipments into retail channels.

Despite the volume decline, full-year revenue increased 9.4 per cent due to  higher sales of ultra-premium models, as demand for flagship devices from Apple, Samsung and Oppo remained elevated all year.

The three accounted for 88 per cent of all shipments in 2021, up from 79 per cent in 2020.

“While supply issues persist, the reliance on a handful of brands could increase the current imbalances between supply and demand,” Wilson said.

“Any longer-term issues affecting these three key vendors will likely not see enough shipments to fulfil demand, therefore the case for another key player in a basket of smaller vendors becomes stronger.”

IDC wrote the NZD1,500 ($1,018) price band and above accounted for 20 per cent of shipments in 2021, up 48 per cent on 2020, with the NZD150 to ND300 bracket growing 27 per cent.

With component costs increasing, IDC stated ASPs continued to rise as more units moved out of the sub-NZD150 band, predicting the trend to continue in 2022 as inflation climbs.

IDC forecast shipments in H1 2022 will decline 1.4 per cent to 624,000 units, with 5G-capable devices comprising 65 per cent of the total.