OZ Smartphones Sales Surge 101%, WP7 Beats Global Growth

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Australian smartphone shipments surged 101% in Q4 2010, with 2.64 million devices shipped, according to research company IDC. Among the brands set to cause problems moving forward claims IDC, is the new LG Optimus One.As we tipped yesterday, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 7 OS has captured 3.2% market share in Australia which is 1% higher than Microsoft has captured globally.

In total, 4.25 million mobile devices were shipped in Q4, with smartphones accounting for a record 62%, up 24% from Q4 2009’s penetration of 38%. The availability of affordable Android smartphones has intensified consumers’ migration from feature phones to smartphones.

“Smartphones like LG’s Optimus One, which launched with the latest version of Android, a bright capacitive touchscreen and high-capacity battery, costing just over A$300, are causing a real headache for feature phone vendors,” said Mark Novosel, Market Analyst, and Telecommunications at IDC.

“Although feature phones won’t be going the way of the dodo just yet, their days are certainly numbered. Crazy John’s has just dropped the price of the Huawei IDEOS to A$99, as Telstra announced its own A$99 Android smartphone,” added Novosel.

In a bid to stem the decline, feature phone vendors slashed prices in 2010, with Samsung’s average feature phone price falling 53% in the past year, Nokia’s similarly fell 43%, and Sony Ericsson now only has one feature phone model in the market, as it focuses on Android-powered smartphones.

Nokia performed well in Q4 across both feature phones and smartphones, regaining the number one place in the smartphone market after being overtaken by Apple the previous quarter, however, this was largely due to a sharp decline in device prices.

 

“The launch of Windows Phone 7 saw a notable 3.2% Q/Q jump in shipments of smartphones running Windows, with Microsoft’s Q4 total equalling that of all Windows Mobile devices shipped in the prior 12 months,” said Novosel.

IDC has revised its conservative stance taken during the GFC and the updated five-year forecast significantly. The forecast now expects significantly higher smartphone penetration, in excess of 92% by the end of 2015.

“Android is expected to overtake Symbian and become the number one smartphone OS in Australia within the next few months and its market share will stabilise around 40%. Apple will account for close to 30% and Windows Phone expected to see strong growth in coming years, with market share in excess of 20% by the end of 2015,” added Novosel.

The biggest issue facing the smartphone market currently is the devastating disaster unfolding in Japan, with the full impact still unknown. Several factories that produce memory, batteries and other vital components for smartphones and media tablets have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami, furthermore the outcome of the looming nuclear threat will not be known for some time. The consequences are likely to lead to supply shortages and increased prices, which will likely be passed on to consumers. 

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