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OZ Smartphone Demand “Subdued”, As Telcos Slash iPhone, Samsung Plans

OZ Smartphone Demand "Subdued", As Telcos Slash iPhone, Samsung Plans2.05 million mobiles were shipped in Australia between January and March last, down -22% quarter-on-quarter following peak Christmas sales, says analysts.

Smartphone shipments declined -20%, blamed on a ‘seasonal lull’ blamed on the transition between two giant launches – iPhone 5s, which hit the shelves in September and consumers holding off for Samsung S5, which went on sale in April. 

“The smartphone market in Q1 was subdued when the initial hype over Apple’s new iPhone 5s and 5c tapered off from last quarter. Consumers were also holding off their purchases in anticipation for the next wave of Galaxy S smartphones from Samsung, then rumoured to be in Q2,” says IDC analyst, Amy Cheah.
Samsung is still leading the pack down under, while Android continue to hold the largest share on the operating system front. 
Samung reduced prices of older generation Galaxy S phones ahead of the S5 launch, regaining share from Apple as demand for iPhone 5s and 5c cooled. 
However, Credit Suisse analysts note the ‘Big 3’ telco’s – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have all moved to discount their heros Samsung S5 and iPhone plans, by around $10 a month, in a bid to lure in buyers before the end of financial year. 
IDC forecasted growth of 5% in smartphone shipments in 2014, driven by 4G LTE adoption and migration from feature or dumb phones to larger smartphones. 
“While still niche now given the high price points, phones with screens larger than 5 inches, or more commonly known as phablets, will become mainstream as lower display cost opens up greater opportunities for affordable low-end phablets in the long run,” says Cheah.

There was also a -38% decline in feature phone shipments in Q1.