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Smartphone shipments drop by nine per cent in Australia

Smartphone shipments drop by nine per cent in Australia

IDC expects the local smartphone market to stabilise

Credit: Dreamstime

Smartphone shipments have declined by nine per cent in Australia during 2018, according to data from IDC.

The research firm's latest research showed smartphone shipments recorded the largest decline in any year to date, falling to just under 8.2 million units in 2018.

Australia has experienced fluctuating results in the past two years with a 6.6 per cent year-over-year decline in smartphone shipments in 2016, followed by a growth of 6.5 per cent in 2017, largely due to strong uptake of the iPhone X, and now a nine per cent drop in 2018.

This has been flagged before by research firm Telsyte, which in its Telsyte Australian Smartphone and Wearable Devices Market Study 2019 estimated 4.6 million smartphones were sold in the second half of 2018, down three per cent from the same period in 2017.

Telsyte said this could be a result of consumers waiting for a 5G upgrade when available.

IDC quarterly mobile phone tracker
IDC quarterly mobile phone tracker


According to IDC market analyst for mobile phones John Riga, the decline is a result of "overall" lack of innovation and improvement in smartphones recently.

"This is in line with the trend seen in other developed markets, where many consumers are holding off on upgrading to the latest device," Riga said. "At a local level, economic factors also drove this decline, with falling consumer sentiment indicating lower demand and minimal real wage growth limiting household disposable income."

IDC predicts thought that the Australian smartphone market will stabilise in 2019.

"With 5G devices and network infrastructure expected to be launched from 2019 in Australia, as well as the anticipated introduction of foldable phones, there may be some positive movement in the market" Riga said.

"However, given the high price point likely to be attached to these devices, they will take time to gain a significant foothold in the market. For this reason, while they may generate some consumer enthusiasm, it is unlikely they will significantly impact the struggling mobile phone market."


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