5G wait hits Australia smartphone sales - Mobile World Live

5G wait hits Australia smartphone sales

11 FEB 2020

Australia’s smartphone market registered a year-on-year decline in sales during the second half of 2019, research outfit Telsyste reported, citing multiple factors for a lengthening of replacement cycles.

In a press release, the company said the cost of premium handsets and a lack of attractive 5G models lengthened replacement cycles, contributing to a 5 per cent decline in sales to 4.3 million units.

The average replacement cycle for smartphones rose from 2.8 years at end 2018 to three years, with mid-tier models apparently suffering the most with a typical timeline of 3.3 years.

More Australians are purchasing second-hand and refurbished smartphones given the high cost of new handsets, with the percentage more than doubling to about 10 per cent over the past two years. More than 15 per cent of iPhones purchased in 2019 were second-hand or refurbished.

Despite a 3 per cent fall in sales in the six-month period,

Apple’s market share remained flat at 42.4 per cent despite a 3 per cent drop in sales. Android sales dropped 6 per cent year-on-year, with Samsung, Oppo and Huawei top three respectively.

Telsyte estimated Huawei’s sales declined more than 20 per cent and expects continued downturn as new models including the Mate 30 Pro, won’t support Google services.

5G interest
The research company believes annual sales could reach the peak 2017 level of 9 million units if more sub-AUD1,000 ($671) 5G devices are available and Apple releases a compatible model.

Additionally, around 20 per cent of smartphones currently in use are at least five years old, indicating the market is ripe for upgrades.

Despite a modest start, consumers flagged 5G as important when choosing a smartphone. Telsyte’s latest consumer survey found two-thirds of Australians aged over 16 years-old who plan to purchase a smartphone in 2020 will choose a 5G handset.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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