Aussies switching to Android

android vs iphone

Between January and June 2021, Aussies switching to Android took its smartphone market share from 51.9% to 59.7%, according to Kantar, a significant global market research and analytics company. Correspondingly iPhone has dropped from 48.1% to 40.3% – evident as it’s a two-horse smartphone operating system race here. And we are referring to unit sales – not profitability or total revenue.

There are lots of factors, but Kantar has identified ten key ones that may explain Aussies switching to Android

  1. The iPhone 12 launch was 23 October 2020 and fuelled sales in Q4, 2020 and Q1 2021. Apple users tend to be fast adopters of new models, and demand tapers off until the launch of the next edition in October 2021 (see GadgetGuy iPhone 12 leaks here).
  2. Huawei’s plummeting market share and limited Australian model line-up meant that sales went to Google Android devices, not Apple, as it is ‘too hard to switch’.
  3. Samsung’s A-series, now just three models, has been a strong consumer and business performer and seen as a safe buy.
  4. OPPO’s A53 and A74 5G ($349/399, 9.8/10) account approx. 20% of retail sales and the value/quality equation has helped cement this as the #2 Android brand in Australia.
  5. Battery life is the highest-ranking feature driving Australian sales. 5000mAh battery models are doing exceptionally well. By contrast, Apple does not advertise battery capacity, just typical use.
  6. Speed of charging is now more important, and people are looking past 10-18W chargers to 30W fast charge or more. Again OPPO, vivo, and realme lead the way with up to 125W cable charge and 65W Air charge that will safely fill a phone in under 30 minutes.
  7. Camera quality is next. Apple is a strong contender with its iPhone 12 Pro Max and LiDAR (lowest cost $1849, 128GB). OPPO has its 5G FindX3 Pro ($1499, 256GB, 9.8/10 periscope lens) and realme has its 4G X3 SuperZoom ($579, 9.7/10) bringing zoom photography to the masses. Advances in Android AI has made it almost impossible to take a lousy photo, especially in low light.
  8. Voice assistance is creeping up the importance scale. Australia has embraced OK Google 8:1 over Alexa, and Android TV and Android Auto demand are at an all-time high. It is natural to stay in an ecosystem with the best selection of apps.
  9. Consumer sales have moved from Telcos to shop-front retailers (the rumour is that JB Hi-Fi now sells one in five smartphones). Online growth tallies with the exponential growth of realme’s online sales model.
  10. And probably most important it what people can afford in COVID times. Apple’s lowest-cost XR 64GB is $699, SE 128GB is $759 and the iPhone 12 ranges from $1199 (64GB) to $2369 (512GB). You can get a great Android phone from $200 and many now have 2 and 3 year warranties.

You can read Kantar’s take here

GadgetGuy’s take

Australia and the US have always been Apple strongholds. Its phones are favourites with business and fleet buyers who can tax deduct them. That won’t easily change.

But the rest of us are looking for good old-fashioned quality, features and value. That applies whether we have $200 to $2000 to spend. And we are increasingly finding that in Google Android.

It augers well for the OPPO Group that, along with vivo (both part of the BBK group), have become the world’s largest producer of smartphones.