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Australian mobile phone market exceeding expectations with 18% growth

Australia’s mobile phone market romped in ahead of expectations in the second quarter of 2017, posting 18.4% growth thanks to the launch of new Android devices.

IDC says 2.16 million mobile phones were shipped in Q2, of which 2.06 million were smartphones with the remaining being feature phones, which the analyst firm says are holding their place even on the back of announcements from telcos about the closure of 2G networks this year.

The majority of the feature phones shipped are 3G enabled.

IDC says it expects the market to grow to more than nine million handsets come next year aided by the re-entry of Nokia under HMD, Amazon’s foray into Australia and the launch of more flagships in the second half of the year.

Apple continued to hold top spot with 37% market share in Q2, despite a slowdown in sales as consumers hold off purchasing as they await the new flagship launch expected in the latter half of the year.

IDC says it will be intersting to see if Apple can regain market share of the much awaited launch and return to owning ‘well over’ half of the Australian smartphone shipments as it has in the past.

Samsung was the quarter’s success story, with its marketshare jumping from 23% in Q1 to 34%.

“Samsung successfully bounced back from impact of the recall of the Galaxy Note 7 last eyar and the growth was fuelled by the launch of the highly successful Galaxy S8 and S8+,” IDC says.

“These two modles made up over 75% of total smartphones shipped from Samsung in the quarter.

“The success of the Galaxy S8 series and the launch of the Galaxy Note 8 recently looks to be Samsung’s market stand as it gets ready to lock horns with Apple in the second half of 2017.”

Beyond Apple and Samsung, Q2 saw an ‘intense’ battle for market share. Alcatel regained some ground to hold 5% share thanks to its exclusive device strategy for telecom oeprators in the prepaid space, while also gaining traction with price attractive devices in the open channel.

Oppo continued to establish and grow itself with 5% market share as well, with the launch of two new devices – the A57 and A77 – fuelling solid growth. The company is continuing to expand its retail channel in a move expected to fuel further growth moving forward.

Huawei took 4% of the market on the back of its flagship P10 launch and significant growth in the prepaid segment through its Y devices.

ZTE, which also manufacture’s Telstra branded smartphones, competes in the low price segment with both companies having a combined market share of 6%.

On the operating system front, Android returned to top of the ranks, after being ousted from the top spot in the fourth quarter of 2016 by Apple, which took 54% share versus Android’s 47%.

“Riding on the back of multiple Android product launches, the tables have turned and Android has returned to the top by grabbing 63% market share compared to iOS’ 37% in Q2 2017,” says Bilal Javed, IDC Australia senior market analyst.

Window Phone saw further declines to hold less than 1% market share as a lack of new devices and apps continue ot hinder its opportunitiies in both the consumer and commercial segments.

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