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iPhone Sales Saved Smartphone Industry Oz, Report Claims

Australia’s obsession with Apple products was the saving grace of the smartphone industry after the pandemic wreaked havoc on sales in 2020, a new report claims.

While COVID-19 brought phone sales to a screeching halt in the first half of 2020, sales bounced back during the second half with 4.55 million smartphones sold across the country.

Nearly one in two phones sold last year were Apple iPhones, sales figures from the Telsyte Australian Smartphone & Wearable Devices Market Study 2021 reveal.

But it wasn’t enough sales to claw back the losses during the first half of 2020, with 8.38 million phones sold during the year compared to 8.44 million in 2019.

The much-needed recovery was largely in part due to Apple’s release of the iPhone 12. Apple’s market share increased by 3.8 per cent in the year.

The iPhone now has 46.2 per cent of all Aussie phone sales, compared to Android’s market share of 53.8 per cent.

“Today there are millions of Australians locked into Apple who aren’t tech boffins: they’ve just slowly adopted a number of products over the years, and now they’re dependent on the Apple ecosystem,” Foad Fadaghi, managing director of Telsyte, told The Australian Financial Review.

“It’s part of their lifestyle to wear AirPods and to use Safari so all their passwords are integrated across all their devices. It’s an environment which encourages people to be loyal.”

New 5G phones also helped drive sales in 2020, with 40 per cent of all phones that year being 5G compatible.

Telsyte forecasts more than 60 per cent of new phones sold in 2021 will be 5G devices.

Telsyte research also found lifestyle changes since the pandemic (such as working from home, and home fitness programs) drove demand for smart wearable devices, with around 7.6 million and 5.9 million Australians now using smart wrist wearables and smart hearables, respectively.

Smart hearables are wireless earbuds and headphones that include smart features such as supporting digital assistants, voice activation, and integration with smartphone, computer, or smartwatch apps.

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