Music and sport helping to drive 3G mobile handset shipments

The popularity of music and sport on 3G phones is helping to drive high shipments of mobile phone handsets to Australia in the first half of this year.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association’s new industry figures show there were 3,928,167 mobile phone handsets imported to Australia in the six months from January 2006 until the end of June 2006. This is an 11.6% increase on the same six-month period last year.

AMTA CEO Chris Althaus said retailers were reporting that a driver of the high shipments of new handsets was the increasing number of customers, existing and new, who were purchasing 3G handsets and 3G plans.

“The growth is being fuelled by consumer interest in 3G. 3G handsets are now part of sellers’ mass consumer plans and this is driving strong sales,” he said.

“Australians love music and sport and downloading and browsing this content on 3G handsets is proving very popular.”

According to the industry figures, there were 826,292 mobile phone handsets shipped to Australia in June 2006 – the fourth highest month on record. This is 35.4% higher than June 2005.

Mr Althaus said the mobile phone market in Australia was at a tipping point in the upgrade from second-generation technology to third-generation technology.

“The subscriber base is growing as some people are buying second handsets, maybe one for work and another for the weekend, and the generation Y is continually updating handsets to keep up with the latest look and style,” he said.

It is estimated that there are almost 19 million mobile phone subscribers in Australia. The estimated revenue of the industry in 2005-06 was $11.9 billion. The mobile penetration rate (the number of mobile phone services per 100 people) is estimated to be 94 per cent.

For more information contact Randal Markey, Manager, Communications, (02) 62396555 or 0421240550