Thursday, 16 April 2020 11:11

Australian smartphone sales fell in first quarter, Kantar figures show

Australian smartphone sales fell in first quarter, Kantar figures show Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Purchases of both Android and Apple smartphones fell in the first quarter of the year, with a combined drop of 23%, the data insights company Kantar said in a statement on Thursday.

While Apple improved its share of the Australian market from 36.4% to 41.1.% as sales volumes fell 13%, Android's share declined from 63.5% to 58.8% as sales volumes plummeted by 28%.

Kantar said the iPhone 11 continued to be the top-seller for Apple in Australia with a share of 12%; all iPhone 11 models together accounted for a 20.4% share, with buyers being mostly previous iPhone users.

Even older models like the iPhone 7 and 8 series had also sold well during the quarter, Kantar said, adding that while many were upgrades from the iPhone 6, others had adopted Apple after coming over from legacy brands like Sony and LG.

Among the Android smartphones, Samsung held its own, hanging on to 32.5% of the market compared to 32.7% in the corresponding period a year ago. The Galaxy S10 was the second biggest selling model with 6.2% while all S10 models accounted for 8.7%.

Consumers had been noticed shifting to the low- and mid-price A series Samsung models, which had accounted for 37% of all Samsung sales in the quarter.

While the A20 had been the most popular of the series, winning over users of Chinese brands, particularly Huawei, the higher-priced A50 and A70 had been popular with previous owners of legacy brand devices and repeat Samsung buyers.

Kantar said it was too early to make any judgement about the Galaxy S20 though all its variants had accounted for 8% of the Australian market in March and 26% of all Samsung sales for the month.

Kantar insight director Jennifer Chan said globally consumer behaviour has shifted significantly as a result of COVID-19, with people’s tech needs changing rapidly to accommodate the new home-based reality many found themselves in.

“COVID-19 is dramatically impacting how consumers are using their smartphones," she said.

"With so many countries around the world in lockdown situations, it’s perhaps not surprising to see such a significant increase in video calling as people seek to connect with each other for work and personal activities.

"The data also shows that consumers are increasingly looking for ways to entertain themselves, for example through mobile gaming (+24%) and watching short-form video content (+21%). There is, however, a demonstrable reduction in mobile phone usage to make shopping purchases and for navigation (-9%)."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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