Home Mobility Aussies like to keep same smartphone longer, less interest in new phones

Aussie mobile phone users are not tempted by the “latest and greatest” smartphones, with many of them planning on keeping the same smartphone for three years on average, according to comparison website finder.com.au.

Finder.com.au surveyed 2019 respondents and says it is surprising that so many Aussies plan to keep their current phones for three years and aren’t looking to trade up as often.

“While Aussies have had their current handset for almost a year and a half (17 months), the research finds it would take another 18 months before they purchase a new device,” says Alex Kidman of finder.com.au.

“While they own a smartphone that works perfectly well, Aussies won’t upgrade. Simply put, there’s no need to.

“Gone are the days when each new generation of phone revealed huge new features. It’s a mature market, and in line with that, the differences between one year’s phone models and the next year’s aren’t that great, or that compelling.” Kidman says.

And, according to Kidman, big brands need to pull a rabbit out of a hat if they really want to create some buzz around their new models.

In fact, he says Apple is expected to announce a major revision of the iPhone this year to celebrate the device’s 10-year anniversary, but with research showing that Australians are potentially skipping at least two generations of phones, this release may not be enough to tempt local buyers.

“There are still those select few who will always pounce at the opportunity to pick up the latest model smartphone,” Kidman says.

The research found that Gen Y upgrades their phone the most frequently, switching to a newer model every two years (27.6 months), while Gen X switches almost every three years (34.1 months) and Baby Boomers trade up almost every four years (44.5).

While the research finds Aussies holding on to their phones for longer, finder.com.au does give some tips on what to consider when shopping for a new smartphone:

Set a budget

When choosing a new smartphone there are a few cost factors you need to consider. For example, not only do you need to think about the cost of the actual phone but how much the plan will cost too.

If you choose to purchase a phone outright you’ll be looking at forking out a hefty initial payment upfront, with premium models costing over $1,000. The other option is buying the phone on contract, and paying for both the phone and plan on a monthly basis over 12 or 24 months.

Figure out your top needs

The type of phone you choose will be dependent on what you plan on using it for. If you have a long commute you might end up watching a lot of video content, and therefore you’ll need a bigger screen. For Instagram addicts, a high megapixel camera will be a key feature to look out for.

Consider storage

Most phone models come with different capacities, for example the Samsung Galaxy S7 can be purchased at 32GB or 64GB. If you’re prone to taking lots of photos or videos, choose a phone with more storage.

Try before you buy

A good way to find the right phone is to get some hands on time. Visit your local mobile phone store and check out a few models, or if your friend has a model you’re considering, ask to play around with it.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).


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