Mobile devices sales plunge for two quarters running: IDC

Research firm IDC says mobile device sales have dipped for two consecutive quarters in Australia and New Zealand.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Sales of notebooks, tablets and smartphones have plunged for two consecutive quarters since Q1 2013 in Australia and New Zealand, according to IDC.

The research firm says that all three mobile device markets have suffered declining sales in both countries. While the slow-down might not be an indication of the markets reaching a saturation point, IDC believes it could be a sign of "device fatigue" -- when the exponential growth of netbooks, tablets and smartphones, together with continually evolving features, cause consumers to cease caring rather than desperate to get their hands on the latest shiny toy.

As a result, IDC Senior Analyst Amy Cheah says the marketplace in Australia and New Zealand will be "increasingly challenging" for hardware vendors to seek out and exploit niches which make their products different and attractive to consumers.

In addition, the research firm says the softening Australian economy also weighed down on consumer demand, as retailers remain heavily stocked with gadgets, and customers did not spend as much at the end of the last financial year in comparison to past years. As a result, retailers may have been reluctant to take on new product shipments.

"Acer was the standout vendor in the PC market in 2013 Q2. The vendor gained volume share through heavy discounting of its notebooks in retail, but at the cost of profitability. In the tablet market, demand for non-branded low-cost tablets has gradually waned since peaking last Christmas season. Apple, on the other hand, continues to see its share eroded by Android tablets, particularly from Samsung, and increasingly Windows tablets," says Cheah.

In total, IDC says 4.77 million units of client devices including desktops and mobile devices were shipped in 2013 Q2, but tablets took the biggest hit with a 20 percent quarter-on-quarter dip. Notebook shipments suffered a six percent decline, and both feature phones and smartphone sales dropped by five percent. However, the desktop PC market recorded a growth rate of 8 percent sequential growth after several quarters of decline. 

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