Despite overall market decline.
While the Australian smartphone market has suffered a 9% year-on-year decline in 2018 shipments, according to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) figures, Alcatel experienced a record year in 2018, almost doubling its business and selling close to one million devices in Australia alone.
Alcatel is recognised by IDC as the number three smartphone vendor by volume in the Australian market and has held that position for three and a half years, or 14 consecutive quarters.
Alcatel managing director, Sam Skontos said the overall decline is less about the lack of innovation and more about pricing, with some vendors taking advantage of Australian consumers for too long.
“The pricing on smartphone devices is simply getting ridiculous and consumers are now clearly seeing that highly-featured phones do not need to cost the same as a large screen 4K television or a round the world airfare.
“This is only reinforced by the fact that while the market overall decreased significantly, we experienced a record year off the back of bringing affordable innovation to Australians.”
Alcatel 1 smartphones
The Australian smartphone market has been fluctuating significantly in recent years with a 6.6% YoY decline in shipments in 2016, followed by growth of 6.5% in 2017, largely due to strong uptake of the iPhone X, and now a drop of 9.0% in 2018.
However, IDC does predict Australia’s smartphone market in 2019 will stabilise compared to the heavy decline felt over the past year with a slight decline of 0.8% YoY.
“An overall lack of innovation and improvement in smartphones in recent years is extending replacement cycles” IDC market analyst for mobile phones, John Riga said.
“This is in line with the trend seen in other developed markets, where many consumers are holding off on upgrading to the latest device. At a local level, economic factors also drove this decline, with falling consumer sentiment indicating lower demand and minimal real wage growth limiting household disposable income.
“With 5G devices and network infrastructure expected to be launched from 2019 in Australia, as well as the anticipated introduction of foldable phones, there may be some positive movement in the market.
“However, given the high price point likely to be attached to these devices, they will take time to gain a significant foothold in the market. For this reason, while they may generate some consumer enthusiasm, it is unlikely they will significantly impact the struggling mobile phone market.”