Australian smartphone sales slow as consumers hold off for 5G

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Australian smartphone sales slow as consumers hold off for 5G

Approximately one in three smartphone owners in Australia are likely holding off from buying a new smartphone until 5G models become available, according to research from Telsyte.

The research firm said this may affect the market performance in the next 18 months until 5G smartphones become widely available.

“The arrival of 5G will create the next big upgrade event,” Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said.

“Carriers will be hoping 5G smartphones are available ahead of their network launches, if not soon thereafter.”

Some 4.3 million smartphones were sold in Australia in the first half of 2018, down 3.7 percent from last year’s 4.4 million.

The report revealed those most willing to wait for 5G handsets includes users of premium model smartphones, i.e. 50 percent of all consumers, as well as the 40 percent currently on contract.

Android sales were also down seven percent for the period, compared to a two percent increase for Apple, although Android remains the market leader at 53 percent.

On the manufacturer’s side, Apple remained the leader with Samsung, Oppo and Huawei making up the top four.

“Android smartphone sales had a sobering first half in 2018 after a strong upgrade year in 2017,” Telsyte senior analyst Alvin Lee said.

“The balance of 2018 could remain in favour of Apple with more iPhone users expected to be coming out of contract this year.”

Meanwhile smartwatch sales have grown 80 percent year-over-year with 680,000 units sold in the first half, with an estimated 15 percent of smartphone owners using smartwatches.

The Apple Watch remains the market leader, accounting for more than half of all units sold, while Fitbit, Samsung and Garmin also saw growth due to increased awareness, lower prices and customers upgrading from basic fitness bands.

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