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​Aussie smartphone market “holds its breath” as Apple loses ground

​Aussie smartphone market “holds its breath” as Apple loses ground

The Australian mobile phone slide continued during the second quarter of 2016.

The Australian mobile phone slide continued during the second quarter of 2016, with only 1.8 million mobile phones shipped, as opposed to 2.2 million units one year ago.

Representing a fall of 18 percent YoY for the overall mobile phone market, which includes feature phones and smartphones, IDC findings show the local market has experienced its third consecutive quarter of double digit YoY decline.

According to research, just 1.7 million of total mobile phones shipped were smartphones.

“The market has reached its saturation point for a while now and shipments are driven more and more by refresh cycles rather than first-time purchases,” IDC Australia market analyst, Bilal Javed, said.

Faced with intense competition, market leader Apple continued to struggle as market share plummeted from 48 percent in 2016Q1 to 40 percent in 2016Q2.

Recently, Apple experienced its slowest quarter in over two years with the slow down at the top allowing other vendors to join the playing field, with mid-range vendors benefiting the most.

In addition, Samsung consolidated its second spot in Australia, riding on the success of the highly rated flagship handsets, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge to close in on Apple and grab 33 percent of the market as compared to 31 percent in 2016Q1.

Features of the flagship device such as removable storage, waterproofing and faster processor grabbed consumer attention and accounted for over 63 percent of Samsung’s shipments.

“Whilst the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge was locking horns with Apple devices, the refreshed J series (J1, J1 Mini and J3) along with the still successful Galaxy S5 was Samsung’s answer to the other Android vendors in the low/mid-market space,” Javed added.

Meanwhile, Alcatel controls just over five percent of the smartphone market, consolidating its hold on the low-end space.

“The targeted strategy of pre-paid phones exclusive to telco providers is the key driving force behind Alcatel shipments,” Javed explained.

Further down the ladder, Huawei took fourth spot with four percent market share after launching the much anticipated flagship P9 as well as the Mate 8 towards the end of the quarter.

However, as explained by Javed, Huawei’s majority shipments came from Y series models in the sub AU$100 price bracket.

“Huawei struggles to build momentum as they lack brand awareness amongst Australian consumers,” he added.

Finally, ZTE rounded out the top five in Australia, pushing into the market through a variety of channels and attractive price points.

Vendors such as LG Electronics and HTC had a disappointing quarter as the much hyped flagship LG G5 and HTC 10 respectively did not live up to expectation.

“Australian consumers are becoming increasingly aware of alternative buying options in smartphones and the lack of innovation, minimal marketing and high price point of the device forced HTC out of the top five,” Javed added.

“A major surprise came from OPPO who experienced triple digit growth and could move onto challenging the likes of HTC, Huawei, LG and Microsoft in the near future.”

For Javed, the recent slowdown may simply be the calm before the storm, as major launches from Apple, Samsung and the new Google Nexus device are pending in the coming quarter.

“These product launches are likely to return the market to positive growth YoY and shipments are expected to break the two million barrier,” he added.

“Vendors following the big two will need to continue to innovate and provide attractive value propositions to gain market share.”

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