Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

With the launch of the iPhone 6 almost upon us, speculation is rife about what new functions and features it will have. Will it have a bigger screen to compete with its Samsung/HTC rivals? Faster WiFi and an improved camera? And what about these rumours of an ‘iWallet’ system, using Near Field Communication (NFC) to allow credit card payments via iPhone? True, excitement is mounting — but will it translate into sales once this hotly anticipated device hits Australian shores?

The latest mobile phone ownership and intention data from Roy Morgan Research shows that the number of Australians 14+ intending to buy or upgrade a mobile has decreased since the same time last year. This is the first time mobile intention has declined year on year instead of increasing.

Almost 30% of the population (or 5,538,000 people) now own and use an iPhone. During the three years from 2010 to 2013, the number of Australians with an iPhone grew by around 1.2 million to 1.4 million, but slowed to 700,000 new iPhone owners from June 2013 to June 2014. While it is too early to know whether iPhone ownership is starting to plateau in Australia, it may be significant for sales of the new model.

Reflecting the overall decline in new phone purchase intenders, the number of us planning to buy or upgrade an iPhone at some point in the future also declined for the first time, to 2,672,000—or around 1 in 3 of the 8,045,000 intending to buy or upgrade a mobile phone, consistent with Apple’s share of intention over the past few years.

iPhone ownership and mobile phone purchase intention trend:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2009 – June 2014, average annual sample = 18,912 Australians 14+

Among the 5.5 million of us carrying around an iPhone, 2.8 million (over half) intend to buy a new phone, and of them, almost 2 million (around 70%) are planning to buy an iPhone again, with around 20% not sure and 10% looking to switch to another handset brand.

Or, to look at it another way, nearly three in four of all people intending to buy an iPhone (2,000,000 of the 2,672,000 total iPhone intenders) already have an iPhone.

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

“Around the world, millions of people are waiting with bated breath to see what the new iPhone 6 will be like. Depending on whether the rumours flying around are correct, this hotly anticipated device might have some major implications for banking, NFC retail, advertising, and health.

“Our data shows that the total number of people intending to buy a mobile phone has decreased for the first time—no doubt the result of there being both fewer first-time mobile intenders in the market and upgraders.

“One possibility is that Apple’s recent handset releases, the iPhone 5S and 5C, didn’t impress current owners enough for them to upgrade, resulting in the slight decline in intention year on year. No doubt, Apple is hoping the iPhone 6 will rectify this situation, possessing enough new and improved features to inspire current iPhone owners into upgrading and possibly even convincing owners of other handsets to think about switching.

“But Apple isn’t the only company that stands to benefit from the launch of the iPhone 6. Australian telcos look set to gain millions of dollars’ worth of extra revenue once sales of the new iPhone really kick in.”

Contact Profile

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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