iOS leads Android in smartphone share
The Australian mobile phone market exceeded growth expectations in 2017, shipping 3.36 million devices in Q4, which amounted to 15.7% year-on-year growth.
According to IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 92% of handsets were smartphones while the remaining were feature phones. Growth came primarily from Apple’s newly released iPhone X, as the device hit stores countrywide.
After leading smartphone shipments in Q2 and Q3, Android conceded the lead to Apple’s iOS in Q4.
“Riding on the back of the very successful iPhone X launch, the tables have turned, and iOS has not only returned to the top but stretched its lead to grab 56.2% share compared to 43.8% for Android,” said Bilal Javed, senior market analyst at IDC Australia.
Windows-powered phones did not make the cut, hindered by a lack of new devices and apps on the platform across both consumer and commercial segments.
After the lower demand of iPhone 8/8 Plus compared to its predecessors, Apple extended its lead at the top in 2017Q4 where it took 56.2% of the smartphone market.
“This rise was expected as consumers held off purchase in anticipation of iPhone X,” said Bilal.
Samsung was able to hold second spot even after its share dropped to 15.4% in 2017Q4 from 24.6% in 2017Q3. Samsung’s shipments were fuelled by the Galaxy S8/S8+ and Note 8 which accounted for over 55% of all Samsung smartphones in the quarter. Samsung, benefiting from a diversified portfolio, saw growth of the J series and A series smartphones as it competes with other Android vendors in the mid-range price segment.
The remaining market share was also subjected to intense battles. Telstra branded smartphones (primarily manufactured by ZTE), dominate the low-priced prepaid space with 5.4% of the market. TCL owned Alcatel based on its partnership with Vodafone for the U series and A series held 4% of the smartphone market in 2017Q4. ZTE rounded off the top 5 with 3.5% of the market. OPPO, Google and Huawei along with Optus branded smartphones (primarily manufactured by Alcatel) followed very closely behind.
The market that showed signs of saturation in 2016 seems to have rebounded at least for the short term.
“On the back of new Android product launches witnessed at MWC last week, along with the hype around 5G plus advancements in AI, mean that the smartphone market will remain highly competitive, and vendors will need to continue to innovate or risk falling behind,” said Bilal.
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