Australian smartphone replacement cycle headed towards three-year mark: Telsyte

As well as sticking to their ecosystem of choice, Australians are lengthening the time between phone purchases.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Analyst firm Telsyte has said the average length of time between smartphone purchases for Australians is headed towards three years from the previous average of two years.

The company said 44 percent of the 1,162 respondents to its Australian Smartphone and Wearable Devices Market Study 2018 said the top reason for not purchasing a new device was that their current device remained in good condition.

The study claimed during 2017 that Australians purchased 9.2 million smartphones, representing an 11 percent increase on sales for the prior year. Telsyte said that for the second half of the year, Android devices accounted for 55 percent of the market, with the top makers being Samsung, Oppo, and Huawei.

Due to the short amount of time it was available, coupled with a high price point, the firm said the iPhone X failed to make a dent in the market, with the top iPhones for the second half being the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and 7.

Apple users remained the most loyal, as 85 percent stuck with iOS, and Samsung commands the highest loyalty on Android, recording a repeat purchase figure of 70 percent.

"As the smartphone market has matured, platform loyalty is at an all-time high, creating almost two unique marketplaces," Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said.

For wearables, a collapse of wristband sales saw the category fall by more than 30 percent year-on-year; however, smartwatch sales grew by the same amount, with Apple now making up nearly 75 percent of all smartwatch sales.

While consumers are more than happy to pick up Chinese manufactured devices, Five Eyes governments are less likely to if the product brandishes a label from a Chinese company.

Last week, United States intelligence chiefs recommended against the use of Huawei and ZTE products.

"We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks," FBI Director Chris Wray said at the time.

"That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage."

In 2012, Australia banned Huawei from competing for National Broadband Network contracts, but the company has had an enduring partnership with the nation's third-largest mobile network provider, Vodafone Australia, as well as another with the second-placed mobile provider, Optus.

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