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Australia's smartphone market experienced a -9.0% year-on-year (YoY) decline in shipments in 2018, according to the latest figures by International Data Corporation (IDC). The global technology research and consulting firm's newly released research shows smartphone shipments recorded the largest decline in any year to date, falling to just under 8.2 million in 2018.
The Australian smartphone market has been fluctuating significantly in recent years. IDC's data shows there was a -6.6% YoY decline in smartphone shipments in 2016, followed by a growth of 6.5% in 2017, largely due to strong uptake of the iPhone X, and now a steep drop of -9.0% in smartphones in 2018.
“An overall lack of innovation and improvement in smartphones in recent years is extending replacement cycles” says John Riga, market analyst for mobile phones at IDC. “This is in line with the trend seen in other developed markets, where many consumers are holding off on upgrading to the latest device. At a local level, economic factors also drove this decline, with falling consumer sentiment indicating lower demand and minimal real wage growth limiting household disposable income.
However, IDC does predict Australia’s smartphone market in 2019 will stabilise compared to the heavy decline felt over the past year with a slight decline of -0.8% YoY in the market estimated.
"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" says Riga. "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”.
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers.