Android sales overtake iPhone in first half

Smartwatch sales fall short of expectations in Australia, Telsyte finds in new mobile device market study

Sales of Android-based devices pulled ahead of the iPhone in the first half of the year, with a 54 per cent market share according to Telsyte.

The iPhone had a 41 per cent share of the Australian smartphone market while Windows Phone devices accounted for just 5 per cent of smartphone sales. A new iPhone model is expected to be unveiled this month.

Sony overtook HTC in the first half of 2015 to become the third largest smartphone vendor in Australia, behind Apple and Samsung, according to the Telyste Australian Smartphone and Wearable Devices Market Study 2015-2019.

Telsyte is predicting that 4.5 million smartphones will be sold in the second half of 2015.

“Pricing and brand are still the most important factors cited by consumers when it comes to choosing a smartphone; however, an increasing level of importance is being placed on lifestyle factors such as durability and resistance to the elements,” said Telyste senior analyst Alvin Lee.

Some 17.2 million Australians — 72 per cent of the population — own smartphones, according to Telsyte.

According to Lee, 3.7 million smartphones were sold during the first half of 2015.

“The smartphone market is entering a stage of maturity with growth starting to be driven by demographic factors such as net migration and births,” he said.

Smartwatch sales lower than expected

Just 205,000 smartwatches — the majority of them from Apple — were sold in Australia in the first half of 2015 according to Telsyte.

Apple holds 64 per cent of the smartwatch market after it launched its smartwatch in April. Samsung and LG were the other two vendors to hold any significant market share.

Earlier this year Telsyte reported that in total 370,000 smartwatches were sold in Australia in 2014. The analyst firm predicted the Australian market would grow by 50 per cent in 2015.

Telsyste managing director Foad Fadaghi said the Apple Watch remains a luxury gadget with its price more than twice the average of rival Android devices. A lack of killer apps was also holding back demand, he said.

“It is difficult to see mass market consumers paying as much as premium tablets or smartphones for wearable technology that does not have significant new or unique features,” he said.

Some 10 per cent of smartwatch owners have stopped using the devices altogether, Telsyte found.

However, smart wristbands sales have continued to grow. There are now approximately 2 million smart wristband users in Australia.

“In some ways the smartwatch market can be classified as the premium part of the smart wrist wearable market,” said Fadaghi.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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