Market Data

Android slows, Blackberry dives and iOS regains strength

The latest Kantar WorldPanel ComTech figures have been released for the quarter ending August 2013.   The figures break down smartphone operating system sales by country. The latest report shows that while iPhone & Android’s combined share of sales remains relatively stable,  it looks like Android’s growth spurt in Australia may be losing some of its fire.

Android sales have dropped back slightly, sitting on around 62% for the 3 months ending August 2013, down from almost 66% for the same period last year.   iPhone sales have recovered to 28.7% and may continue to rise.  Android’s market share of sales here was expected to keep growing, so it will be interesting to see what the rest of the year brings, especially given the recent launch of Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C devices.  It now seems unlikely that Australian sales of Android devices will reach the sorts of figures we are seeing in Europe, which are pushing 80% of  all smartphone sales.

Blackberry appears to have  lost the fight, dropping market share by two thirds in the last year, clinging onto a mere 0.5% of sales, and devices running the Windows O/S  may yet surprise us, with their share of sales continuing its rapid rise.  Windows devices now make up 6.5% of sales of smartphones in Australia, although this is just over half of what Windows is achieving in the UK, where sales have now exceeded double digits.  The growth in Windows is made up predominantly from  low – mid range Nokia devices running the Windows OS and appealing to previous customers of lower end feature phones who are now upgrading.

Kantar WorldPanel ComTech – Australian Smartphone Sales Share by Operating System (June – August 2013)


These figures come at a time when many reports indicate that smartphone and tablet sales are losing momentum.   For the first time in Australia and New Zealand, sales of these devices have slowed  for two quarters in a row. According to Research firm IDC, the smartphone, tablet and notebook markets are reaching maturity, which inevitably means that sales to new customers will slow.  In a mature market, growth depends more on device upgrades for existing customers and conversion of customers from competitor brands.

In Australia, mobile phones sales have dropped 21% year on year, but this is only partly due to a (slight) drop in sales of high end Smartphones.  The overall mobile phone figure also includes feature phones which are in rapid decline.  Feature phones now make up only 20% of the mobile phone market, with this figure dropping 45% in the last quarter.  This dip in feature phone sales would be responsible for the decline in smartphone sales as there are fewer customers left to convert to smartphones.   It’s also worth noting that while growth has slowed, there is still growth year on year in the tablet sector which dropped 20% for the quarter, but is still up 25% on the same period last year.














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