Finance Consumer Apple still king but Huawei takes a bite out of sales
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Apple still king but Huawei takes a bite out of sales

More than one in three Australian adults now own an iPhone. Photo: Getty
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Apple remains the undisputed king of the smartphone market in Australia but Chinese manufacturer Huawei is looking to take a big bite out of tech giant’s market share with younger phone users.

Huawei was the fastest growing smartphone manufacturer for the year to the end of September, with sales surging 87 per cent, according to research by Roy Morgan.

But that’s off a low base. With just 471,000 units sold, Huawei was dwarfed by 8.6 million in iPhone sales – up an impressive 16 per cent on the same period two years ago. The figures mean more than one in three Australian adults now owns an iPhone.

Apple’s market domination meant it recorded more than three million more sales than nearest rival Samsung (5.6 million), whose sales were largely unchanged.

The latest figures come despite recent news that iPhone sales globally might be slowing.

Jordan Cvetanovski, a portfolio manager with diversified funds management firm Pengana Capital Group, said there was growing evidence of some consumers tiring of Apple products.

Roy Morgan chief executive Michelle Levine said Huawei’s performance was significant because its sales growth reflected strong appeal to younger Australians, which boded well for the future.

“Huawei, along with rival Chinese smartphone maker Oppo, are making significant inroads,” Ms Levine said.

“Both handset makers have a strong appeal to millennials, and especially generation Z.”

Millennials are generally considered to be those born between 1980-2000, while generation Z came immediately after them.

Analysis of Huawei and Oppo smartphone ownership shows found more than half of those who had Huawei handsets (54 per cent) and nearly two-thirds of those who had Oppos (64 per cent) were either millennials or generation Z.

This is important because, in the Australian market as a whole, fewer than half of all smartphone owners (45 per cent) are from either generation.

The Roy Morgan numbers are based on a survey of more than 50,000 consumers, including 15,000 who were interviewed about their telecommunications preferences, including handset ownership.

Telstra was the third most popular mobile phone brand, with HTC fourth.