Mobile phone market grows; phablets increasingly popular: IDC

Much of the mobile phone market growth attributed to the continued popularity of Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The mobile phone market in Australia experienced a strong first quarter despite a high penetration rate, according to analyst IDC.

The company said 2.32 million units of mobile phones were shipped into Australia in 2015 Q1. This was a drop of 22 per cent quarter-on-quarter. However, this was to be expected when taking into account seasonality and excess channel inventory.

When compared year-on-year (YoY), IDC said the overall mobile phone market in Australia grew by 29.2 per cent. Much of this growth was attributed to the continued popularity of Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Momentum was also seen in entry-level smartphones such as the Telstra Tempo and Rush, with both phones selling below $100.

Mobile phone operators ran aggressive marketing campaigns to stimulate re-contract and new business. The main value-proposition driving the promotions was increased data-allowance across different price-plans. Several flagship models also became available at a cheaper monthly-plan, including the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8. This pre-emptive move was to accommodate for the new flagship launches of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 in 2015 Q2.

“Phablet adoption in Australia was catalysed by the introduction of the iPhone 6 Plus. Market share of phablets grew from 9 per cent in 2014 Q3 to 38 per cent n 2014 Q4," IDC market analyst, Joseph Hsiao, said.

"Growth of phablets continued in 2015 Q1, reaching a market share of 41 per cent. More phablet models are coming to Australia this year, including the Microsoft Lumia 540XL and LG G4. By the end of this year, one in two smartphones sold in Australia are likely to be a phablet.”