The latest research from Roy Morgan suggest that the 18.6 million Australians that own mobile phones are increasingly bringing their own phones with them when they subscribe to a new mobile phone plan. In 2019, the vast majority of the Australian population (89.9%) own a mobile device which is an increase of 0.7 per cent year on year and an increase of 2.1 per cent from 2017. That represents quite an important shift for mobile phone service providers.
New phone plan subscribers falling
More than a quarter of Australians (26.8 per cent) have subscribed to a post-paid plan having brought their own mobile device with them for the plan which is an increase of 5.8 per cent from 2017. Nearly one third of all Australians are now on a pre-paid mobile plan which represents an increase of 2.5 per cent from 2017. The corollary is there has been a decline in the number of Australians subscribing to traditional mobile phone plans that come with a handset. 29.7 per cent of Australians now subscribe to mobile phone plan that comes with a new device which is down from 6.8 per cent from 2017.
Changing buying habits
There has also been a change in the way the pre-paid or bring or your device consumers buy their mobile phone plans. The shop remains the preferred method for signing up to a new plan with 51.5 per cent of consumer subscribing that way. However, the number of consumers signing up to plans online has risen significantly by 7.9 per cent to 23.7 per cent since 2017. A Roy Morgan spokesperson says the growth in the Australian mobile market is increasingly being driven by Australians purchasing pre-paid phones or bringing their own devices to their new plan.
The technology has stabilised
The trends were confirmed whilst asking Australians about their handset. Currently 86 per cent of Australian mobile phone users say their present handset was a new one when they subscribed which is down from 90 per cent from 2013. The trend suggests an increasing number of Australians are seeking value when they sign up for a new plan instead of asking for a new device. This is largely because improvements in the technological capability of mobile devices has become more marginal and this trend is likely to continue.