Apple still leads as Australian smartphone sales tumble 18 percent: IDC

Smartphone sales in Australia fell from 2.2 million in the first quarter of 2016 to 1.8 million in the second, with Apple struggling to keep its number one spot in the region.

IDC has reported that in the second quarter of 2016, smartphone sales in Australia continued to slow down, with only 1.8 million units shipped, an 18 percent fall from the 2.2 million shipped in the same quarter last year.

According to IDC, the Australian mobile phone market experienced its third consecutive quarter of double digit year-on-year decline.

"The market has reached its saturation point for a while now and shipments are driven more and more by refresh cycles rather than first-time purchases," IDC Australia market analyst Bilal Javed said.

Apple kept the biggest slice of market share this quarter, securing 40.4 percent of all smartphones sold in Australia. The percentage shrank in size since last quarter, with the figure falling from its previous 48.4 percent.

IDC said the iPhone maker experienced its slowest quarter in over two years, noting the slow down at the top allowed other vendors to pick up market share, with mid-range vendors such as Alcatel and Huawei benefiting the most.

The analyst firm said Samsung should thank the success of its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge devices for increasing its market share to 32.9 percent this quarter from 31.4 percent.

Alcatel took out third spot, boasting 23.6 percent growth in quarter two, holding 5.4 percent of the Australian market; Huawei came in at fourth with 3.6 percent of the market, experiencing 20.4 percent growth; and ZTE was hot on Huawei's heels with 3.5 percent of the market.

IDC said it is expecting major launches from Apple, Samsung, and Google in the next quarter to return the market to positive year-on-year growth.

Bilal suggests launches such as the Google Nexus phone will bring the shipment total back above the 2 million mark.

Total worldwide smartphone shipments were up just 0.3 percent year-on-year to 343.3 million.

Globally speaking, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is outselling the Apple iPhone 6s, with Samsung shipping 77 million phones in the second quarter of 2016 while Apple shipped only 40.4 million -- a 15 percent drop for the Californian giant from the same period last year.

Huawei came in at third with 9.4 percent of global marketshare, Oppo with 6.6 percent, and Vivo with 4.8 percent.

Earlier this year, IDC said that as the Chinese smartphone market matures, the global industry will slow to single digit growth, highlighting at the time it could mean "grave consequences for Apple as well as the high-end Android space".