Samsung overtakes Apple in Australia despite patent attacks, becomes No.1 phone vendor

As Samsung continues to field repeated patent-related strikes from Apple in Australia and around the world, the Cupertino-based company’s aggressive stance seems to be having an unforeseen side effect in some cases. As Apple continues to inadvertently help Samsung advertise its products across the Australian region, market research firm IDC revealed on Monday that the South Korea-based electronics giant passed Apple in the third quarter to become the No.1 mobile phone vendor in Australia and New Zealand. Read on for more.

Achieving growth for the third consecutive quarter, Samsung phone shipments in Australia and New Zealand topped iPhone shipments last quarter as the region also saw a major shift in the smartphone space; Android overtook Apple’s iOS platform to become the most popular mobile operating system in Australia. Despite a strong iPhone 4S launch, Apple’s share of the Australian smartphone market totaled 36% in the third quarter while Android’s market share jumped to 49%.

“Collective efforts to expand brand presence from all Android manufacturers at all price points will increase consumer choice and drive demand, which in turn will help Android grow to at least 40% market share over the next 3 years,” IDC analyst Yee-Kuan Lau said in a statement. “Samsung has climbed to the no.1 position as a result of a strong push for its Galaxy S II.” IDC’s full press release follows below.

IDC Q3 2011: Samsung Takes No. 1 position in the Australia and New Zealand Mobile Phone Market

19 Dec 2011

Sydney, Australia, 20th December 2011 – Samsung has now overtaken Apple and grew for a third consecutive quarter in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) overall mobile phone market, according to IDC’s ANZ Quarterly Mobile Devices Tracker (2011 Q3).

Overall the Australian mobile phone market dipped by 17% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) by shipments across both smartphones and feature phones categories. The smartphone market is now 65% of the total Australian mobile phone market, with Android taking over Apple iOS as no.1 position holding 49% market share. Apple iOS, in second place, holds 36% unit share as the market eased in preparation for the new iPhone 4S launched in October 2011.

“Collective efforts to expand brand presence from all Android manufacturers at all price points will increase consumer choice and drive demand, which in turn will help Android grow to at least 40% market share over the next 3 years. Samsung has climbed to the no.1 position as a result of a strong push for its Galaxy S II, “said Yee-Kuan Lau, market analyst for IDC ANZ. “HTC, being the no.2 Android vendor in Australia, continues to grow its market presence with its product portfolio expansion in the second half of 2011.”

New Zealand’s feature phone and smartphone markets, on the other hand, recorded a 55% QoQ growth. The smartphone market holds 43% of the total Q3 New Zealand mobile phone market, with Samsung overtaking Apple’s no. 1 position with a share of 28.5% of the smartphone market. Huawei, in second place, holds 20% of New Zealand’s Q3 smartphone market followed by Apple with close to 13% unit share.

“While Apple’s iPhone shipments slowed down in preparation for its new iPhone 4S launch in New Zealand, Samsung led the smartphone market for the first time with some of its flagship models such as Galaxy S II and Galaxy 5 performing very well. Huawei continues to expand its local market presence and contributed to the growth in sub-US$200 smartphones with its U8180 Ideos X1 model sold via Telecom,” added Ms. Lau.

“There is a gradual shift in demand by cost-conscious consumers to low-cost Android smartphones from feature phones across ANZ, as more low cost smartphones are becoming available in the market,” said Ms. Lau. “In Australia for example, the shift in demand from feature phones has helped boost sales in the sub-US$150 segment with low-cost Android smartphones such as Huawei U8180 Ideos X1, especially when 90% of feature phones were priced below US$150.”

“As we are inching closer to year end, 2011 is proving to be an intense OS battle particularly in Australia. IDC expects Android to win by a hair in the Australian smartphones tussle. In New Zealand, Android is expected to widen the gap and maintain the lead in the smartphones market,” concluded Ms. Lau. IDC expects close to 9.5 million smartphones to be shipped to ANZ channels by the end of 2011.

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