Less than 48 hours out from the launch of the iPhone 4S, new statistics reveal that Android has extended its lead over iOS in smartphone sales in Australia — 48.8 per cent to 32 per cent.
iOS vs. Android sales over the last 12 months. (Credit: Kantar )
The statistics of smartphone sales in Australia provided by research outfit Kantar show that in the 12 weeks to 4 September, Android has moved up to 48.8 per cent of total sales from 42.9 per cent in August, while iOS has slumped from 37.2 per cent to 32 per cent. The total number of handsets purchased in the last 12 weeks were 1.6 million, with 63.1 per cent of this made up of smartphone devices.
Kantar noted in its report that Apple's share growth had halted, while Android's share had rocketed on the back of sales of the Samsung Galaxy S II, the HTC Desire HD, the HTC Sensation and the HTC Desire Z. The company reported that the Windows Phone 7 HTC Mozart also performed well in the last 12 weeks.
Android's lead may be short-lived, however, with the impending launch of Apple's new iPhone 4S. Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi said that while Android had very strong sales in the last few months, it was the calm before the storm, with many customers holding off on purchases for the launch of the new iPhone.
"While the 4S might have underwhelmed commentators, our survey shows 87 per cent of iPhone owners intend to purchase another iPhone in their next purchase," he said.
"If you measured the user base, Apple is still larger in total market penetration, having around 42 per cent of the installed base share of all smartphones," he added.
Telsyte research showed that iPhone users have the highest level of satisfaction, but Android devices, such as the Galaxy S II, are catching up.
"The gap is closing between Android and Apple, and if the market does not take to the 4S, it's likely Apple will need to expedite its release of the iPhone 5, possibly as early as May 2012," he said.
The iPhone 4S already looks to be a success before it has even launched, with Apple reporting that it has taken more than one million pre-orders of the device globally. Optus and Telstra have also indicated strong interest in the new Apple product, and all three major telcos have now announced competitive plans for the iPhone 4S.
Customers in Australia who want to pre-order the 4S directly from Apple now face a one- to two-week wait.
Fadaghi said that the key challenge for vendors with Android phones would be to ensure that customers want to stick with their device, rather than drifting between the different Android competitors.
"An Android user is likely to jump between HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others. For this reason, we are now starting to see vendor-specific apps and services, such as the Samsung Music Hub, to compete against Apple and iTunes," he said.