iPhone 6 “Phablet” Has Oz Appeal, Or Has It?
5.6 million new smartphones will be sold in Australia in the second half of this year, as iPhone 6 and other newbies are released, a Telsyte survey suggests.
Androids and iPhones currently make up a whopping 93% of all smartphones down under.
The majority of the circa 5 million mobiles purchased this year will be to existing smartphone users – there were 16 million by the end of June, growth of 1.1 million over the previous six months.
But the rumored 5.5″ iPhone 6 ‘phablet’ is set to be released this year could mean a boost for Apple, who has lost marketshare and is now forced to play catch up to larger screen Androids from HTC, Samsung et al, that have proved hugely popular.
Telsyte believes the phablet market (phone + tablet sized between 5.5″ – 6.9″) in Australia hinges on the entrance of a 5.5 inch iPhone this year. 40% of phone buyers that intend to purchase an iPhone 6 would only do so if it has a larger screen, the Telsyte survey shows.
However, phabs are still a niche product, despite the increase in larger-screen phones and tablets that blur the line between the devices including Sony XL, Samsung Galaxy Note and HTC M8.
But if Apple doesn’t go ahead with a bigger screen, it may be headed for trouble.
Androids have now overtaken iPhone as the most popular device purchased on a telco plan, with more promos and reduction in iPhone subsidies and the Google platform is the largest mobile operating system down under, powering Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG phones.
‘Phablets’ could account for one in five of all mobiles in the future, if a larger iPhone comes into play, says Telsyte.
“Apple is the market maker,” says Telsyte analyst Foad Fadaghi, so any move by the giant, means the ‘phablet’ could be the next big thing, despite its late entry.
However, you can bet you’re bottom dollar it will be a pricey machine, as Apple is not known for doing anything on the cheap, which may put some off and opt for Android instead, similar to the smartphone race.
iPhone or Android?
But, despite the overwhelming smartphone saturation, the Aussie market is dynamic and still up for grabs.
The expected boost in demand is driven by shortening replacement cycles, as consumer want to get their hands on the latest technology quicker, the Telsyte survey shows.
One in three of those intending to buy a new smartphone this year have not decided on the platform and 30% intend to switch, says Fadaghi.
20% of Android users would “change their smartphone purchasing decision” if a larger screen iPhone 6 was released, while 10% planning to purchase an Android currently use an iPhone.
Apple still has the highest repeat purchase intentions (70%) while loyalty to Androids, which includes Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One and Nexus has improved to over 60%, of late.
Windows Phone 8 uptake remained “steady” as the lack of handset and brand options impacted faster take up, although this looks likely to change in years to come, as the Microsoft platform gets more sophisticated.
Around 1.5 million new users will buy smartphones for the first time before the end of 2014, Telsyte estimates.