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Smartwatch Sales Boom Amid iPhone Slump

Australians have continued to embrace smart speakers and smartwatches, with surging sales offsetting sluggish iPhone demand. Growth is forecast to persist into 2019.

According to new research from Telsyte, the high cost of new smartphones has impaired local demand, with many individuals awaiting 5G-enabled handsets.

For H2Y18, local smartphone sales slumped 3% year-on-year to 4.6 million units.

For the year, primary Australian iPhone users notched 9.1 million, versus 11 million Android users. It contrasts 8.6 million and 10.3 million at the end of 2017, respectively.

By contrast, local wearable sales soared 30% YoY during H2Y18, with smartwatches continuing to lead the segment.

Telsyte estimates 3.5 million smartwatches were in use by the end of 2018.

Apple has continued to dominate the smartwatch category – followed by Fitbit and Garmin – despite declining smartphone market share.

Concerning smart speakers, Google has sustained market leadership with a 72% market share.

An estimated 1.6 million Australians (16%) were reportedly using smart speakers by the end of 2018 – up from 538,000 (6%) in 2017.

Telsyte asserts the availability of 5G-capable devices is “critical” to lifting overall smartphone sales.

“There is a clear imperative for carriers to bring 5G handsets to market as soon as possible given the lengthening of the replacement cycle” affirms Foad Fadaghi, Telsyte Managing Director.

Research claims 1-in-4 Australian consumers are restraining from buying a new smartphone until 5G launches.

Despite this, local smartphone sales are forecast to lift just 1% year-on-year to 9 million in 2019.

As previously reported, Apple is tipped to delay its 5G phone launch until 2020, impact by its move away from Qualcomm components to Intel.

Should this change, Telsyte claims total smartphone sales may jump to 6%.

Further information is available on Telsyte’s website here.

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