​Australians favouring no lock-in mobile contracts: Kantar

The no-contract market in Australia reached 9.5 percent during the full year to March 31, 2015, showing that consumers are increasingly exposed to the benefits of the tariff.

Kantar's latest report showed that the no-contract mobile phone market is increasingly becoming the preferred choice for Australians.

The report showed that the no-contract market jumped to 9.5 percent during the full year to March 31, 2015, up 2.1 percent since December 2014.

"Australian consumers are becoming increasingly exposed to the benefits of SIM-only tariffs, which offer 4G connections, rollover data, no lock-ins, and a generous amount of data, to name a few, for a comparatively low cost," Kantar said.

However, the post-paid market continued to dominate, making up 56 percent of the total mobile phone market, despite dropping 2.5 percent compared to the last quarter.

As a reflection of this drop, Kantar indicated that flagship post-paid smartphones saw a sharp downward trend, with figures dropping to 20.5 percent in 2015, and as a result steering customers away from standard 24-month post-paid plans.

This is in comparison to March 2013, when 53.5 percent of smartphones were purchased with nothing to pay upfront.

"Eight percent of post-paid customers in March 2014 have since churned to a different tariff type, with 63 percent choosing a no-contract option," Kantar said.

During the full year, smartphone penetration reached 77.5 percent, up 5.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

On a telco-by-telco basis, Telstra continued to dominate the mobile phone market, taking out a total share of 39.7 percent. However, this is down from last year, when it had a total market share of 40.1 percent.

Following behind were Optus, Vodafone Hutchison Australia -- which included old services that were still connected to Three and Crazy John's -- and Vodafone, each with total market shares of 21.3 percent, 16.9 percent, and 16.5 percent, respectively.

Vodafone saw growth in the post-paid market as Three and Crazy John's customers were being migrated over, Kantar said.

Similarly, Kantar said Optus performed the best in the post-paid market, with shares increasing by 1.6 percent. Kantar said it was driven by attractive deals on the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S4/S5 on its network.

"It is perhaps too early to say if share growth for these carriers will continue, in part, driven by the inclusion of video-streaming services such as Stan and Netflix. However, smartphone owners are increasingly using their devices to stream videos, with 45 percent and 38 percent of Vodafone and Optus customers respectively having done so in the past month," Kantar said.