'

iPhone 4S fights the Samsung tide

Recent numbers from IDC showed that Samsung was the king of the smartphone market in the third quarter of the year, but Apple's iPhone 4S brought Apple back up to top spot at the end of October through to November, according to research by Worldpanel ComTech Australia.

Recent numbers from IDC showed that Samsung was the king of the smartphone market in the third quarter of the year, but Apple's iPhone 4S brought Apple back up to top spot at the end of October through to November, according to research by Worldpanel ComTech Australia.

(Credit: Apple)

This week, IDC said that Samsung had overtaken Apple for the first time in the Australian mobile phone market over the period between 1 July and 20 September on the strength of the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy 5.

However, the dip in Apple phone sales may just been consumers waiting for the newest iPhone, the iPhone 4S, to make an appearance.

Worldpanel ComTech Australia has more recent data on phone sales. It gains its data from surveys on 10,000 people.

The company's data matches with IDC's, in that Apple's iPhones were overtaken in sales, with one of Samsung's handsets selling the most units. However, in later data, running up to the end of November, the company has seen a resurgence in iPhone purchases, as people were able to get their hands on the newer iPhone 4S.

Most iPhone 4S purchases are by young females, according to the data. In contrast, BlackBerrys were being bought mainly by males, while Samsung and HTC had a fairly even male and female spread, although Samsung attracted older buyers than HTC.

In terms of mobile platforms, Android now has 49 per cent market share, while Apple's iOS has 36 per cent share, according to IDC's data. The ComTech Worldpanel data also had Android beating Apple's market share for a period from July, but rising above Android, again due to the iPhone 4S purchases.

However, IDC expects Android to win the market share fight in the end.

"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," IDC market analyst ANZ Yee-Kuan Lau said in a statement.

There may also be a surge in Huawei sales, according to the research company.

"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 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 per cent of feature phones were priced below US$150."