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Aussie Smartphone Replacement Demand Slumps

Aussies are much less interested in purchasing high-end smartphones this year, as the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis continues to ravish household budgets – lowering replacement demand and affecting online behaviour.

An analysis of results on comparison website, WhistleOut, revealed consumers’ willingness to purchase a new phone when renewing their plan has been comparatively flat, despite historic trends peaking around the time of new launches.

Whistleout publisher, Joe Hanlon, informed AFR that searches for high-profile premium handsets (e.g. the Samsung Galaxy S20) had not met historic levels of online interest, with overall smartphone searches slipping since March.

Commentators predict Apple’s 2020 iPhone launch may also be hampered by budget-conscious consumers, with the Cupertino giant’s delayed product release tipped to hit sales as it heads closer to the competitive holiday season.

The news comes as mid-range competition continues to heat up in the local market, with brands such as TCL and Samsung (A Series) amping up value-offerings.

Latest numbers from Gartner reveal second-quarter global smartphone sales dropped 20.4% to to 295 million units, as the financial impact of COVID19 continues to tighten purse strings.

“Travel restrictions, retail closures and more prudent spending on non-essential products during the pandemic led to the second consecutive quarterly decline in smartphone sales this year,” said Anshul Gupta, Senior Research Director at Gartner.

Samsung – still the world’s largest smartphone maker – notched recorded the biggest drop in sales, falling by 27.1% year-on-year to 54.8 million units in Q2.

Apple sales remained relatively flat with a year-on-year decline of 0.4% – remaining in third place, with 38 million iPhones sold during the quarter.

The Cupertino giant is slated to reveal its 2020 iPhone stable (with 5G) in coming months, with multiple supplier sources tipping a delayed October launch despite its historic September unveiling.

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