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Oz Smartwatch Sales Up, Smartphones Down

Australian smartphone sales have reportedly fallen 6% year-on-year (YOY), creating ‘a window of opportunity’ for smart wearable devices, which grew by 22% YOY.

According to Telsyte’s Australian Smartphone & Wearable Devices Market Study 2019-2023, four million phones were sold in the first half of 2019.

1.7 million iPhones were sold, dropping 13%, while Android sales remained constant at 2.3 million units sold.

Of those Android phones, Samsung, OPPO and Huawei were the among the top three, with OPPO jumping from sixth to third overall ‘in terms of repeat purchase intention rates’.

Despite the drop in iPhone sales, Apple maintained the highest repeat purchase rate at over 90%.

Wearable technology sales reached a total of 1.2 million units sold, up from 1 million units last year.

Close to 69% of smart wearables sold were smartwatches, with Apple owning 48% of total smartwatch sales.

The Apple Watch also had a higher than 90% repeat purchase rate, recording high satisfaction amongst users.

Smartphone replacement cycles could explain the decline in sales (smartphones average out at about three years) as consumers await wider availability of 5G handsets through to 2020.

Smartwatch sales, on the other hand, have increased due to enhanced features such as battery life, health monitoring and better app support.

Telsyte has also identified a growing interest in smartwatches with built-in mobile connectivity such as the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier that features eSIM technology.

The average cost of smartwatches has also decreased by 22% between 2017 and 2019, compared to a 15% price increase for smartphones during the same period.

Telsyte suggests the lack of a 5G iPhone has also affected smartphone demand for the next 12 months prolonging the iPhone replacement cycle, which is usually 25% longer than its Android counterpart.

Evidence points directly to a ‘supercycle in 2020’ as consumers replace their older 4G handsets and re-ignite the smartphone market in Australia.

With 1 in 3 Australians identifying high-speed 5G capability as a critical feature for their next smartphone purchase, 60% are planning to upgrade before the end of 2020.

Smartwatch owners are also planning their upgrade, with 85% of users intending to make a repeat purchase compared to only a third of fitness band users.

This latest research from Telsyte clearly shows the market is shifting towards the new 5G era, with smartwatch technology to become a more significant part of our digital lives.

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