Smartphone slowdown: Aussies hold off on upgrading their phones
Despite big tech companies releasing new models at least once a year, research shows consumers aren’t upgrading as frequently. A finder.com.au survey of 2,011 people revealed that Australians aren’t tempted by the latest and greatest models and are holding onto their smartphones for longer.
How long are Aussies holding onto the same smartphone?
- Australians keep their phones for 3.5 years, which is up from 3 years in 2017.
- Australians have had the same smartphone for an average of 21 months, and they plan to refresh in 20 months.
What state is holding on the longest?
New South Wales 3.4 years Queensland 3.5 years South Australia 3.1 years Victoria 3.2 years Western Australia 4.2 years
Unsurprisingly, generation Y is the most hungry for a new smartphone with 12% changing smartphones after just one year. This is in comparison to only 9% of generation X and 4% of baby boomers.
Baby boomers are holding onto their mobile phones for the longest. On average, they keep their smartphone for around 58 months – that’s equivalent to over 4 years!
So why are Aussies upgrading?
- 19% upgraded their phone because their old one was broken.
- 12% got offered a new phone by their carrier.
- 11% found their phone too slow.
- 8% upgraded because it completely stopped working.
19% It was broken (cracked, charging issues, malfunctioning). 12% My contract was up. 12% I got offered a new phone by my carrier. 11% It was too slow. 11% I got a hand-me-down. 11% I saw a new phone I really liked. 8% It completely stopped working (dead). 7% I don’t have a smartphone. 2% I lost my last phone and had to buy a new one.
What brands are Aussies choosing?
- Apple is still king. iPhones are the number one choice for 8.6 million Aussies.
- In comparison, 5.5 million Aussies choose Samsung.
- 49% of Apple fans plan on upgrading to a new iPhone within the next 12 months.
- 61% of Samsung fans will be switching to a new Samsung phone in the next 12 months.
Let’s break it down a little more
If you’re known for passing on your old phones to your parents or grandparents, you’re not alone. According to our survey, 15% of baby boomers simply upgrade to a new device because they’re receiving it second-hand.
Younger Aussies (generation Y) can’t handle a cracked screen and are upgrading their phones because it’s either broken or completely dead (34%).
Men are more likely to purchase a phone on a whim, with 12% stating they upgraded because they saw a new phone they really liked. This is in comparison to only 10% of women who are tempted by a new model.
Apple is more popular among women, with 42% stating their current phone is an iPhone. Only 35% of men have an iPhone.
What to consider when you’re picking a new phone
How much are you willing to spend?
There are a number of cost factors you need to consider when purchasing a phone. Not only do you need to think of the upfront cost of the handset but also how much your plan will be too. Alex Kidman, Tech Expert at finder.com.au, says if you can afford it, you can save more by purchasing your phone outright. That way you can shop around for a SIM-only plan from a smaller provider that probably offers much cheaper deals than the big telcos.
What do you mainly use it for?
If you plan on streaming a lot of content on your mobile phone, it’s probably best to go for one that has a larger screen. If your device is going to double as your camera, make sure to pick one known for its good quality photos. Weigh up your needs and go from there.
And don’t forget you can try before you buy
Head down to your local mobile phone store and check out a few models before you sign on the dotted line, and don’t forget to compare online to make sure you’re getting the best price!
Smartphone Upgrade Report 2018
Aussies aren't tempted by the latest and greatest phones
Latest phone deals
Find out what to look for when comparing and how to find the best deal.
Latest mobile news
Check out our coverage of the latest news in the mobile world.
We review all the top phones to bring you the best comparisons.
More guides on Finder
Finder Daily Deals: The 5 best online deals in Australia today
Enjoy 26% off the Lenovo Duet Chromebook, 69% off the Cabello Silk Smooth Styler and 21% off the Dell G7 17 Gaming Laptop.
Best camera drones in Australia
These are the best camera-equipped drones you can buy right now in Australia.
Nokia 225 4G review
Nokia's latest super-affordable feature phone isn't fancy – but that's totally the point.
Apple MacBook Air M1 review
Apple's most affordable "Apple Silicon" laptop is an impressively powerful device in a very familiar body and an easy upgrade recommendation.
How to start a mobile app business
Learn the key considerations when it comes to starting and growing your smartphone app company.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 M1 review
Apple's first MacBook Pro with its own Apple Silicon is a fast performer, but an unchanged design and small differences between it and the cheaper Air make it a tougher recommendation.
Best car phone holders in Australia
These are the 7 best phone holders you can buy right now in Australia.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Review
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a big phone – big in size, big in camera features and big in price – making it a phone only suitable for a small number of people.
Vodafone iPhone plans
Vodafone has some great deals if you're looking for an affordable way to own a new iPhone, with no excess data charges involved.
Nokia 8.3 5G review
The Nokia 8.3 5G has been long delayed in Australia, but the wait was (mostly) worth it.