Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - Roy Morgan Research

With the number of Australians (14+) with a smartphone fast approaching 12 million, Apple, Samsung and HTC now together comprise over 80% of the market. With the recent launch of the new One M8 from HTC, Roy Morgan Research looks at the market share the big three and the Technology profiles of their users.

With the size of the smartphone market more than tripling in the past three years, all three handset manufacturers have recorded solid growth in raw numbers: since 2011, Apple has gained around 3.8 million users, Samsung 2.9 million and HTC almost 900,000.

But with over 60% of all Australians 14+ now tapping and swiping a smartphone, overall market growth has inevitably slowed, and mobile brands will now increasingly have to battle it out for the dollars of existing smartphone users rather than new entrants.

Number of Smartphone users and proportion with an Apple, Samsung or HTC handset:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), March 2010 – February 2014, average annual n = 6363 Australians 14+ with a Smartphone as main mobile phone

When we break it down by Technology Adoption Segments, among smartphone owners, both Early Adopters and Professional Mainstream are more likely than the average owner to use an iPhone—15% and 13% more likely respectively.

Samsung has made inroads with Traditionalists and Technophobes, who are 13% and 5% respectively more likely than the average smartphone owner to use a Samsung. This is reflected in Samsung being the only of these three brands to gain market share in the past year.

But HTC’s potential advantage is among Digital Life smartphone users, of whom 11.2% now use an HTC— a rate 20% above than the 9.3% of the total smartphone population.

Likelihood of Smartphone Usage by Technology Adoption Segment:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), March 2013 – February 2014, n = 9260 Australians 14+ with a Smartphone as main mobile phone.

Tim Martin, General Manager – Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“As the smartphone market reaches saturation it will be important for smartphone brands to differentiate themselves from the competition.

“HTC has certainly looked to position itself as a leader in handset style and design to appeal tech- and design-savvy users. HTC’s latest ads tell audiences to ‘go ask the internet’, where it believes online reviews—the sorts of early-adopting, tech-savvy people who post online handset reviews—will convert younger digital consumers who want confirmation by peers via social media. HTC also emphasises that its phones are not for everyone.

“It will be interesting to see if this strategy to target younger ‘Digital Life’ audiences pays off as competition in the smartphone market intensifies with Samsung releasing their flagship phone just last week and the expected launch of the new iPhone in Q4 this year.

“The question will be whether new or upgrading smartphone users will opt for the HTC M8, the Galaxy S5 or hold off to see what Apple has up its sleeve in the form of a potentially all new iPhone later in 2014.

“With an increasing proportion of the smartphone market holding a phone produced by one of the big three, challenger brands including Huawei, Nexus, LG and Sony will need to use audience profiling to pinpoint exactly which consumers may be persuaded to go with a less well-known brand, and what niche features they may want.” 

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com


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