iPhone ‘super-cycle’ expected to energise Australian smartphone market

Smartphone battleground turns to Augmented Reality with 1 in 3 already using AR apps


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Australian smartphone sales are on track for a strong calendar year with booming first half sales set to continue into the second half of the year, according to a new study by emerging technology analyst firm Telsyte.

New findings from the Telsyte Australian Smartphone & Wearable Devices Market Study 2017-2021 shows 4.4 million smartphones were sold during 1H 2017, up 16 per cent compared to H1 2016.

Android smartphones held market leadership (55 per cent share) with the top three Android vendors being Samsung, Huawei and Oppo.


Telsyte believes Apple will emerge as market leader in the second half of 2017 with the new iPhone X featured along side the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

“The arrival of at least three new iPhones, as well as the long-held strategy of keeping older models available at lower prices, will help Apple target its loyal customer base” Telsyte Managing Director Foad Fadaghi says. 

Telsyte estimates around 4.7m smartphones will be sold in 2H 2017, a result that could see Apple beat 2014 sales when it first released the larger format iPhone 6.

Telsyte believes a number of factors will drive iPhone sales including:

  • Almost 1 million active iPhones in Australia will not receive the latest iOS 11 update made available in September 2017, leaving models older than the iPhone 5s unsupported.
  • The iPhone repeat purchase intention in Australia as measured by Telsyte is at an all-time high: 93 per cent, compared to the second highest, Samsung with 74 per cent.
  • Aging handsets are creating pent-up demand, with nearly 1 in 4 iPhone users using an iPhone that is 3 years or older.
  • Aggressive marketing and larger data cap offers by mobile service providers. Telsyte estimates up to 65 per cent of iPhone sales in 2H 2017 will be via mobile contracts, compared to around 50 per cent in previous iPhone “S” model years.
  • The inclusion of substantial new features in the field of Augmented Reality (AR) and AI capabilities that will attract upgraders.

Augmented Reality the next smartphone battleground

Telsyte research finds that 1 in 3 Australian smartphone users have tried “AR-like” features on their smartphones which includes the popular mobile game Pokémon Go as well as Snapchat and Facebook photo filters. Telsyte believes these two categories (games and social) will be the most popular initially for AR, with navigation, education, shopping/retail and communications all likely to get early interest from app developers.

“The release of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore is expected to support more advanced AR applications, driving awareness and usage which could rapidly expand in 2018” Telsyte senior analyst Alvin Lee says.

Telsyte estimates more than half of iPhones in Australia are current capable of supporting Apple’s current ARKit, compared to less than 10 per cent of Android smartphones for recently announced Google’s ARCore. However, more Android models are expected to gain support in coming months, adding to the ongoing battle for smartphone supremacy.

For further information on the study or media enquiries contact:

Foad Fadaghi
Managing Director
Tel: +61 2 9235 5851
Email: ffadaghi@telsyte.com.au

Alvin Lee
Senior Analyst
Tel: +61 2 9235 5890
Email: alee@telsyte.com.au

The Telsyte Australian Smartphone & Wearable Devices Market Study 2017-2021 is a comprehensive study which provides subscribers with:

  • Smartphone market sizing estimates, platform and vendor market shares and forecasts
  • Smart wrist-based wearables market sizing estimates, platform and vendor market shares and forecasts
  • Smart location-based item tracker market sizing estimates and forecasts
  • End user trends across devices, application usage, platforms and operators
  • Purchase intentions and acquisition channels
  • Strategic analysis of market trends and issues
  • Device profiles and Telsyte analyst ratings of tested devices

Telsyte measures smart wearable devices in the Telsyte Australian Smartphone & Wearable Devices Market Study 2017-2021 as computing accessories worn on a user’s wrist typically paired and controlled via a smartphone. Examples includes products from Adidas, Apple, Asus, Fitbit, Garmin, Huawei, Jawbone, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Nike, Pebble, Samsung, Sony, TomTom and others.

In preparing this study, Telsyte used:

  • Telsyte’s Mid-Year Smart Device Survey conducted in August 2017 with a representative sample of 1,056 Australian respondents, 16 years of ages and older. And additional 338 Australian respondents, 16 years and older were surveyed to septically determine smartphones, smart wearables and tablets purchases made between January 1st to June 30th 2017
  • Telsyte’s annual Digital Consumer survey conducted in November 2016 with a representative sample of 1,060 respondents, 16 years and older
  • Interviews conducted with executives from service providers, network operators, manufacturers, retailers, financial analysts and channel partners.
  • Financial reports released by service providers and manufacturers.
  • On-going monitoring of local and global market and vendor trends.
  • Analyst reviews of leading smartphone and wearable devices.

Editor’s note:

Telsyte measures sales of devices (“sell out”), not shipments or sales to retailers or carriers (sometimes called “sell-in”). Telsyte believes this is a more accurate measure of performance of products in a marketplace. Telsyte does not rely on disclosure from vendors or general assumptions made for large multinational companies that do not release local market data. Telsyte uses a comprehensive methodology that includes surveys of consumers, discussions with vendors, carriers and their partners, retailers, and financial analysts. In addition, public financial results from manufacturers and carriers are used.  Telsyte tests a wide range of products in real life usage scenarios and conducts satisfaction and repeat purchase surveys with large and representative samples of Australian smart device users. Telsyte is a pioneer in measuring and reporting smartphone sales in Australia and has been providing insights on mobile technologies since 2006.

About Telsyte

Telsyte is Australia’s leading emerging technology analyst firm. Telsyte analysts deliver market research, insights and advisory into enterprise and consumer technologies. Telsyte is an independent business unit of DXC.technology. For more information visit www.telsyte.com.au

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