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Has Telstra Created A Sales Monster By Talking Up 5G?

New research reveals that Telstra may have created a rod for their own back by talking up 5G with one in three consumers claiming that they plan to put off upgrading until 5G is available in 2020.

The research group claim that sales of smartphones dropped 3.7 per cent in the first half of 2018 however several manufacturers have said that they failed to supply Telsyte with sales data among those vendors are Alcatel, HTC and Motorola all manufacturers of Android based smartphones. Retailers who said that they did not supply Telsyte with their sales data include JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman.

Telsyte who release their findings exclusive to Fairfax Media have not said how many people were asked to take part in their research study or what percentage of their sample are actual Apple owners. They have also failed to reveal the source of their sales data.

Telsyte estimates that 4.3 million smartphones were sold in the first half of 2018, compared to 4.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

The research group who issue press releases only after supplying information to Fairfax Media claim sales of Apple’s iPhones, which accounted for 46.9 per cent of all phones sold in Australia, were actually up by 2 per cent compared to the same half a year ago.

They claim Android phone sales, which accounted for 52.9 per cent of all phones sold in Australia and were down 7 per cent compared to the same half a year ago.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi, the author of the report is believed to have collected data from carriers who only range a select number of phones sold in Australia.

5G is expected to be available in Australia next year. In June, Telstra CEO Andy Penn said, “mainstream compatible 5G handsets are unlikely to be available until late 2019 and into 2020”.

That overall decline in sales could get worse once Australians decide to wait for 5G, “but conversely we will likely see a strong pick-up once 5G networks and handsets come to market, meeting the pent-up demand,” Mr Fadaghi told The Australian Financial Review.

Early adopters who hold out for the first 5G phones could be disappointed by what they find, warned Ben McIntosh, chief commercial officer at Vodafone Australia.

This is despite brands such as Samsung and LG already testing 5G handsets in Korea where mobile companies KT, LG U+, and SK Telecom together with SK Broadband are already trialling handsets in partnership with Korean manufacturers.

Glen Chean, marketing manager at Huawei Asia-Pacific, said that its latest flagship phone for business users, the P20 Pro, had sold five times faster than the equivalent phone a year ago.

5G is expected to be roughly 20 times faster than the latest 4G technology, but until there are apps available that make use of that speed, phone users aren’t expected to see a lot of difference claim analysts.

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