Aussie smartphone sales have slumped in the past year as more Australians use online shopping, with most buying a phone online.
That trend has caused a lot of worry for retailers and analysts.
“We’ve seen a massive slowdown in online shopping,” David Sillitoe, an analyst at Gartner, said.
“And that’s very concerning for consumers.”
That is because most of the phones that Australians buy are bought online, which means most consumers don’t have to go to the brick and mortar stores to pick up the latest model.
It’s also where most smartphone buyers buy their phones from.
This year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released data on Australian smartphone sales for the quarter ending March 31.
The data showed that Australian smartphone shipments have declined from the previous quarter, falling from 11.6 million in Q1 to 9.9 million in the quarter.
And in Australia’s largest city, Melbourne, smartphone sales dropped even more, from 11 million in 2016 to 9 million in 2017.
The BPS data showed Melbourne’s average smartphone purchase cost more than $1,500 in 2016, but fell to $1 on average in 2017, falling to $900 in 2018.
Sillitoes report came a week after Australian online retailer Tindalos posted a similar analysis of its quarterly sales figures, saying it saw “significant slowing in sales activity in Australia”.
The BPS report found that smartphone sales in the Australian capital fell by 8.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2018.
That was followed by a drop of 2.9 per cent for the second quarter.
However, the BPS also found that “strong growth in Australia” was still being fuelled by strong growth in “other areas” like e-commerce and the “sharing economy”.
“Despite strong growth, retail sales in Australia have been falling since Q2 2017 and we believe this is driven by the slow growth in other areas,” the report said.
The data also showed that Australians have been buying less expensive phones, particularly smartphones with 4G technology.
That’s led to more expensive phones costing $100 or more.
“Overall, the impact of strong economic growth on Australian consumer spending is expected to be relatively modest,” the BPA said.