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Australian smartphone shipments slumped 9% in 2018

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 12 March, 2019

Australian smartphone shipments slumped 9% in 2018

Australia’s smartphone market fell a record 9% year-on-year during 2018, with shipments falling to just under 8.2 million units, according to IDC.

Sales were impacted by an extended replacement cycle, falling consumer sentiment and minimal real wage growth, according to IDC market analyst for mobile phones John Riga.

“An overall lack of innovation and improvement in smartphones in recent years is extending replacement cycles,” he said.

“This is in line with the trend seen in other developed markets, where many consumers are holding off on upgrading to the latest device.”

The annual result marks the latest fluctuation in the turbulent Australian smartphone market — according to IDC, shipments declined 6.6% in 2016, but this was followed by a 6.5% growth in 2017.

But the research firm expects the market to stabilise in 2019, with total shipments estimated to decline by just 0.8%. But Riga warned not to expect an immediate boost from the arrival of 5G mobile technology.

“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,” he 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.”

Image courtesy IDC.

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