Strong carrier promotions and fewer iPhone subsidies have resulted in Android smartphones overtaking iPhones in Australia as the main devices purchased on contract in Australia, according to a new study by market analysis and consulting company, Telyste.
Telsyte's Australian Smartphone Market Study 2014-2018 also found that there were 16 million smartphone users in Australia, as of the end of June — Australia's population is around 23.5 million. This represents an increase of 1.1 million smartphone users over the previous six months, according to Telsyte.
While Android may have overtaken iPhone contract sales, Apple retains the highest repeat purchase intentions, at 70 percent, while Android has improved to over 60 percent, closing the gap. Telsyte found Windows Phone 8 uptake remained steady as the lack of handset and brand options impacted adoption.
Together, Android smartphones and iPhones represent up to 93 percent of the installed base of smartphone users in the country, according to the study. Meanwhile, Telsyte found that around 20 percent of mobile phone users are still on "regular" mobile phones.
Telsyte estimates that 5.6 million new smartphones will be sold in Australia during the second half of this year, with the majority of sales going to existing smartphone users, however, it also estimates that around 1.5 million new users will take up smartphones before the end of 2014.
According to Telsyte managing director, Foad Fadaghi, the local smartphone market is dynamic and market share remains up for grabs.
"Roughly a third of those intending to buy a new smartphone in the second half of 2014 have not decided on the platform they intend to purchase and around a third intend to switch platforms," he said.
The study showed that smartwatch adoption was still warming up in Australia, with over 1 million smartwatches and fitness bands sold in Australia, 80 percent of which are paired with Android smartphones, according to Telsyte.
Unsurprisingly, Android champion Samsung is the market leader for smartwatches, however, that product category could be "accelerated" with the arrival of an Apple iWatch in 2014.
As iPhone 6 speculation mounts, Telsyte suggests that if the yet-to-be announced Apple device comes with a larger screen than previous models, the company could reclaim some lost market share in Australia.
"Some 40 percent of survey respondents that intend to purchase an iPhone 6 indicated they would only consider it if it has a larger screen," said Fadaghi.