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There are some key COVID issues in Australia (2019/2020 market share in brackets) that our retail spies have shared with us. The links are Gadgetguy reviews and scores.

Global Smartphone shipments Q2 2020
Apple 51% and Android 49% – its never been this close and only 1% separates the king.

<$199 3G/4G (30/20%).

This is the volume pre-paid and ‘burner’ segment, so it is always quite strong. Staples here are typically 1/2GB RAM and 32GB storage like the Nokia 1.3 ($169 and 4.1/5), Motorola e6S ($179) and Nokia 2.3 ($199 and 4./2/5). The outstanding performers are the realme C2 ($199) and vivo Y12  ($199 and 4.4/5) both with 64GB. Apart from the latter two, handsets are so basic that sales often creep up into the next category where you can get amazing handsets with 5000mAh battery, NFC, 128GB and huge screens.

Global Smartphone shipments Q2 2020
Good old Nokia .3 (2020) series are solid phones.

$200-499 4G (was 25/45+%)

This $200-299 segment is hot. The 4/64GB versions of OPPO A5s ($239), Moto g8 PowerLite ($249 4.2/5) LG Q60 ($249), realme C3 ($269 and 4.5/5), OPPO A52 ($299 and 4.8/5) and vivo Y30 ($299) are selling like hotcakes – forget anything with less ram or storage. The standout value here is the realme 5 ($299 and 4.7/5) with 4/128GB, 5000mAh battery and a quad rear camera.

A new subcategory is creeping in from $300 to $499 (expected to be 15% of the 45%). Nokia’s 5.3 ($349 4.3/5) and Moto g8 ($329 4.6/5) sit here. The outstanding ones typically have 4/128GB, dual sim, 48MP camera or more and include the OPPO A9  ($349 and 4.8/5), realme 6 ($469 and 4.9/5), Samsung A31 ($499), vivo X50 ($499), Moto g8 PLUS ($499 5/5) and OPPO A91 ($499 and 4.9/5).

Global Smartphone shipments Q2 2020
realme’s online sales model makes it one of the fastest growing phone makers on the planet

$500-799 4G (25/10%)

This is where people seek flagship specs at half the price. Look at the Samsung A71 ($699 and 4.6/5) and realme X3  ($699/799 and 4.9/5). Here the star performer is the OPPO Find X2 5G Lite ($749 and 4.9/5) with a Qualcomm SD765G 5G chipset.

Global Smartphone shipments Q2 2020
This is superbly built

$800-999 is now 5G territory (10/5%)

It is showing some ‘green shoots’ of interest. The new SD765G smartphones are here – OPPO Find X2 Neo ($999 and 4.9/5), LG Velvet ($899 and review coming soon), Samsung A71 5G ($899 and 4.6/5) and Motorola Edge ($999 and 4.5/5). There will be more here from Nokia 8.3, vivo, realme, Xiaomi et al. While it makes 5G more affordable, it is still well over what Australians are spending in COVID.

Global Smartphone shipments Q2 2020
Motorola’s new Edge is interesting

$1000+ (10/<5%)

Sales have tanked. People buying here expect 5G, so we will see this category exclusively for 5G flagships like the OPPO Find X2 Pro  ($1599 ad 4.9/5), Galaxy S20/+/5G ($1299/1499), and Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G ($1999 and 4.7/5). There are more coming with the Qualcomm SD865/+ Soc later in the year.

Global Smartphone shipments Q2 2020
These phones are leading the 5G race

Apple has taken a thumping here.

In February (pre-COVID) it had 54% market share, and that has dropped to 51%. Android has gone from 46 to 49% (Source StatCounter). This reflects global figures where Android is now at 75% to Apple’s 25%. Why? It is what people are willing to pay during a crisis, and brand loyalty is less.

The iPhone SE 2020 ($749-999) is Apple’s staple with few sales of any iPhone over $1000.

There are $150 discounts to clear the 2019 iPhone 11 Pro/Max. These may be keener in the coming months to generate sales interest. Our spies say these discounts are not working here as people buy what they can afford.

Why the thumping? Apple users are hanging off to see what 2020 5G models and prices come later in the year.

Global Smartphone shipments Q2 2020
The Apple iPhone SE gives Apple lovers the best value