How has the Smartphone Market Become so Large?

Our growing reliance on digital technology remain a major social talking point, particularly when you consider the rise of automation and the growing sophistication of smartphone devices.

Regardless of your own perspective on the seminal nature of mobile technology in the modern age, however, it cannot be denied that the global smartphone market has become one of the biggest and fastest-growing markets known to man.

To put this into context, global smartphone sales have increased by a staggering 63% in the five full years since 2013. In total, a staggering $522 billion worth of smartphones were sold across the globe in 2018, whilst customers in various countries purchased a whopping 1.5 billion units during the year.

In this article, we’ll appraise the Australian share of this market, whilst asking what other market opportunities the growth of this industry has provided.

What is Australia’s Share of the Smartphone Market?

 Whilst Australia doesn’t feature amongst the top 10 nations in terms of smartphone units sold, there’s no doubt that the country remains a key driver of the global market with a noticeably high rate of penetration.

In fact, the most recent figures suggest that 68.6% of the 24.77 million strong Australian population now own and regularly use a smartphone, with this rate of ownership expected to increase to more than 75% in the next three years.

When it comes to sales, a total of 9.2 million smartphones were purchased by Australian customers in 2017, with this representing an 11% increase year-on-year. This rate of growth is expected to be maintained in the near-term, whilst this is largely typical of developed markets across the globe.

The number of smartphone users in Australia is also rising at a quicker than expected rate, with more than 19 million citizens now owning a recognised mobile device. Previous figures suggested that the number of smartphone users wouldn’t exceed 19 million until 2022, but Australia has achieved this objective well ahead of schedule.

Of these, an estimated 10.3 million nationals are Android users, who account for more than 56% of the market share.

Apple users currently account for 8.6 million of the total number, whilst an estimated 400,000 use alternative platforms. In this respect, Aussies are increasingly seminal smartphone consumers, particularly when you consider the world’s leading and most dominant brands.

 What Other Markets has the Industry’s Growth Inspired?

 As with most growth markets, the exponential expansion of this space has created multiple opportunities for businesses in associated sectors.

One of the best examples is provided by smartphone repairs, which has grown into a huge industry that benefits from significant demand each and every year.

There are numerous reasons for this too; not least the compact and self-contained nature of contemporary smartphone designs and the fact that specialist equipment and knowhow is required to complete effective repairs.

Of course, some of this equipment can be procured by mainstream suppliers such as RS Components, but using tools like soldering irons on expensive smartphone models should not be attempted without some degree of industry expertise.

It’s fair to say that smartphone market expansion has also spawned the highly lucrative mobile app sector, which continues to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.2% and is expected to peak in excess of $311 million by 2023.

This sector continues to diversify too, providing both practical and game-inspired apps for Android, iOS and Windows users. The demand for this is rising exponentially in line with increased smartphone usage, whilst this has also created a lucrative niche in the form of mobile gambling activity.

Clearly, the mobile app sector is driven by advanced software, so the growth of the smartphone market has also inspired considerable innovation and job creation in this space.

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