iPhone sends Aussie smartphone market soaring

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Computerworld Australia.

Apple's iPhone has spurred Australian smartphone shipments up 29 percent year on year in the first half of 2009, according to research firm IDC.

IDC’s latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker results also found that Australian shipments of mobile phones with a touchscreen or QWERTY keyboard were up 235 percent year on year for the same period.

IDC telecommunications analyst, Mark Novosel, said the iPhone has kept the other smartphone manufacturers on their toes and experienced considerable growth over the past 12 months.

“What the iPhone has done is ensure that all other manufactures have had to include similar features,” Novosel said.

“The whole industry has benefited as a result of the iPhone in terms of the rapid pace of innovation, which has intensified of the past couple of years.”

According to the report, data-centric smartphones exceeded voice-centric devices for the first time, accounting for 51 percent of all smartphone shipments in Q1 2009, rising further to 65 percent by the end of Q2. Shipments of traditional mobile phones, which comprise 66.9 percent of the overall market, grew 11.5 percent.

Other statistics on the Australian mobile market, provided by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), show that by the end of Q2, shipments of GSM and 3G phones reached 4,393,515 units. The most up-to-date results show shipments reached 6,348,723 units at the end of September. Novosel said Australia’s smartphone market is now expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 percent over the next five years.

“It looks at this stage that the mobile phone market will be healthy in the coming years and it certainly seems that Australians have a strong appetite for mobile devices, especially smartphones,” Novosel said.

Apple now sits in second place in the smartphone rankings, trailing Nokia and ahead of BlackBerry, with market share more than doubling to 21 percent in Q2, due to the launch of the iPhone 3GS and price cuts to the iPhone 3G.

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