With just a week until Christmas, consumers in New Zealand are starting to plan their 2015 goals and it looks like technology tools and toys will take centre stage in enabling them to realise their personal goals.
In a recent survey conducted by Microsoft Asia-Pacific, 54% of New Zealand respondents said that their top priority for 2015 is to exercise more and stay healthy; 31% wish to spend more time with their family; while 30% of respondents hope to go on a relaxing holiday in the New Year.
When asked about the technology tools of choice to help them achieve these goals in the year ahead, 50% of respondents chose a desktop or a laptop, followed by smartphone (42%), apps (35%), social networks (34%) and tablet devices (34%).
When it comes to giving gifts of technology, the survey found that 71% of Kiwi respondents would consider buying a technology-related gift for their loved ones’ birthday, followed by Christmas (60%), then the New Year (14%).
The survey says 44% of respondents stated they were willing to set aside between NZ$100 to NZ$600 for a technology gift to a loved one, while a quarter of respondents said that they would pay more than NZ$600.
Unfortunately for Kiwi dads, the survey showed that they were least likely to get a gift of technology this festive season. Significant others (27%) and mums (22%) are more likely to receive a tech present, and respondents are also more likely to buy their children tech gifts (22%) during this period.
The survey showed Kiwis’ top reasons for buying tech gifts for loved ones were for entertainment (42%), for communication with friends and family (33%), or for learning (30%).
In addition, 29% of respondents felt that a smartphone would be the most helpful tool for their loved ones to achieve their goals in the year ahead. 26% felt that a tablet would be best, while 13% said that a desktop or laptop PCs would do the same.
“When we think of buying a present for our loved ones, we often think of buying the flashiest toys or the hottest devices, but tend to forget the true value of a gift is one that can empower them to achieve their personal goals,” says David Rayner, Microsoft New Zealand’s director of Consumer Channels.
It was interesting to see many respondents choosing the desktop or laptop as their preferred device. With the wide range of choices of Windows devices, online services and apps which combine the best of work and play, our recommended gift guide this year features the best of the best for consumers to think wisely about how to invest in themselves for the year ahead,” says Rayner.
With Kiwi respondents indicating that spending quality time with their family is one of their top priorities for 2015, the top four modes for communication included social networks (65%), email (58%), apps like Skype, Whatsapp, Viber (55%) and through phone calls on mobile phones (41%)
Understanding the evolving needs of consumers who are connecting with their family and loved ones via technology, the recently released Skype Qik (available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone) is a free video messaging service from the Skype team which enables users to share video moments within groups. The service runs alongside Skype.
On Windows and Windows Phone Stores, communication apps such as KakaoTalk, LINE, Viber and WhatsApp are available for download onto smartphones, tablets and PCs for making instant connection with loved ones.
Rayner says New Zealand consumers can choose from a range of new devices starting at new and surprisingly low prices this festive period.
“The latest Windows PC devices now come in a range of striking styles, from sleek, portable and versatile tablets, powerful and slim notebooks to space-saving all-in-one desktop PCs sporting HD and touch-screen displays,” says Rayner.
“The new generation of Windows 8.1 devices also include ultra-portable 2-in-1s which allows users to use it the way they want it in any scenarios imaginable. A great place to explore these exciting new technologies is at your local retailer of choice, so head there to discover what’s on offer.”
An earlier Microsoft survey conducted in August 2014 with 300 mobile professionals in New Zealand highlighted that 21% of respondents carry both a tablet and a laptop at all times.
“Windows devices have evolved over the years. With Windows 8.1, we have redefined the way people are interacting and using their devices for productivity and entertainment purposes,” added Rayner.
“This festive season, our partners have brought to market new devices that are more powerful and portable than ever before with a price range that will fit every shopping budget.”