Apple iPhones helped push Australian smartphone sales up 29 per cent year-on-year, according to IDC’s latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker results.
IDC telecommunications analyst, Mark Novosel, said Apple’s spectacular 151 per cent increase in sales between Q1-Q2, 2009, largely came about thanks to the vendor’s release of the iPhone 3GS.
“Apple has launched a new iPhone and cut the prices of its old stock,” Novosel said. “People who have previously been umming… can more easily make the decision to buy.”
In a blow for business smartphone giant, Research in Motion (RIM), the vendor’s BlackBerry devices have gone backwards in the face of Apple’s aggressive marketing.
“It’s the first time in about two years they’ve had a quarterly decline. Even from Q4 (2008) to Q1 this year, they have typically grown but this time they’ve declined by five per cent,” Novosel said. But he felt RIM was well-positioned to stage a comeback.
“As they release more devices, they’ll certainly come back to that higher growth they’ve become accustomed to,” he said.
Nokia-based Symbian platform smartphones continue in number one position, followed by Apple, which moved to the number two spot in Q2. BlackBerry was relegated to third, while phones from various vendors using Windows Mobile operating systems are in fourth place. Android-based smartphones came in fifth.
Despite the traditional view that BlackBerry handsets are better for business users while iPhones are built to general consumer sensibilities, all sides of the market were pushing for smartphones from both companies, Novosel said.
“From talking to the market, I can say that both sides of the fence are pushing for smartphones,” the analyst said. “Traditional phones sales are still rising, but they’re plateauing so over the next five years we expect they will start to decline.
“In the meantime, smartphones will keep growing quite steadily. I’m maintaining that over the next five years smartphones will approach penetration of 50 per cent or more of sales in Australia.”