Australian smartphone market growing

Sales of data-centric smartphones exceed standard voice-centric phones for the first time

Australian smartphone shipments rose 29 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2009, with sales of "data-centric" smartphones exceeding those of voice-centric handsets for the first time, according IDC research.

IDC also found that smartphones with a touch screen or QWERTY keyboard rose 235 per cent year-on-year.

"Touch screen and QWERTY keyboard–based converged devices have seen phenomenal growth over the past 12 months, when the segment comprised only 25 per cent of all converged devices shipped," said Mark Novosel, an IDC market analyst.

The latest IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker found that sales of data-centric smartphones accounted for 51 per cent of all converged device shipments in the first quarter of 2009. This rose to 65 per cent in the second quarter of 2009.

The rise in smartphone sales comes on the back of Apple launching its third iPhone, the iPhone 3GS, and making price cuts to the iPhone 3G 8GB.

Despite the growth of the smartphone segment, sales traditional mobile phones have also grown by 11.5 per cent, comprising 66.9 per cent of the Australian mobile device market.

"IDC has upgraded its five-year forecast in response to two strong quarters of growth, with Australia's converged device market now expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13 per cent over the next five years," said Novosel.