In 2007, 9.64 million mobile devices were shipped to Australia and 3.55 million of these shipped in the fourth quarter, the highest quarter on record.
According to IDC's Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, converged devices (smart phones) accounted for 27 per cent of the total devices shipped. IDC predicted that by 2012 the number of converged devices will exceed 47 per cent as consumers opt for feature-rich handsets. Shipments of new mobile devices will continue to grow 62 per cent faster than the corresponding increase in subscribers, with shipments set to exceed 12 million in 2012.
"Australians want to own the ultimate device that does it all. We are replacing our mobiles more frequently in a bid to stay on top of technological evolution". said Mark Novosel, market analyst for telecommunications at IDC.
"We can no longer call them mobile phones; they are so much more than that. They have become mobile devices, a source of entertainment, a camera, a navigator, a communications hub, and above all a status symbol, forming the foundations of our social lives", added Novosel.
An increasing refresh rate, rapid 3G adoption, and continued innovation from vendors will compel consumers to upgrade mobile devices more frequently than in the past. Many high-spending users are already offered upgrades prior to the end of their contract by their carriers, however, early upgrading is expected to increase as Australian mobile users become more fickle and demand the latest innovations.
"In addition to having all the features in one device, Australians want their mobiles to look good too. Style is now next to functionality in terms of importance. Slim sliders are the way of the future, giving the benefits of a large screen and keypad in one attractive device, while touch screen-based devices are also rapidly gaining popularity" said Novosel.
Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report.