Australians have purchased 4.4 million smartphones this year

Angus Kidman 5 September 2017

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Android still dominates in 2017, but that might be about to change.

Frankly, we haven't seen many major revolutions in smartphone design over the last year, but that hasn't stopped Aussies flocking to buy more of them.

Research from Telsyte suggests that 4.4 million phones have been sold in this country in the first half of 2017.

Android remains the dominant player, with 55% of sales. Apple's iPhone comes in second with 44% of the market, and "other", meaning the handful of Windows 10 Mobile devices that are still on sale and those weird cheap phones you can buy at the supermarket, accounts for just 1%.

One factor in Android's dominance may have been the emergence of decent handsets that don't cost close to $1,000, which is now the norm for premium handsets. But Telsyte is predicting that Android won't maintain its dominance in the second half of the year, in large part because of the imminent release of the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and iPhone 8. "The arrival of at least three new iPhones, as well as the long-held strategy of keeping older models available at lower prices, will help Apple target its loyal customer base," Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said.

One key factor is that iOS 11 won't be supported on older iPhones, with anything from the 5s back affected. Telsyte estimates this will impact about 1 million current iPhone owners in Australia. Not all of them will upgrade, but for some people it will be the trigger. One-quarter of iPhone owners have a model that's from three years ago or further back. Telsyte is predicting that 4.7 million phones will sell in the second half of the year.

iPhones are pricey beasts, which means many people will prefer to buy them on contract. We've seen big shifts in the contract phone market recently too, with Vodafone offering the ability to dump contracts and Telstra expanding its data offerings.

If you are in the market for a new iPhone, clearly there's no point jumping until the launch on September 13. But that release will also be good news for Android fans. To maintain market share, we'd expect to see prices cut on many recent models. You can keep track of the latest discounts with our weekly bargain phones round-up.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.

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