iPhone 5S or Samsung S4? What's OZ Top Smartphone

Written by Oonagh Reidy     01/04/2014 | 10:32 | Category: PHONES

Hint: its not Samsung

iPhone 5S or Samsung S4? WhatApple iPhone 5S is Australia's top selling mobile, followed by Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5C was third on the list of top 10 smartphones purchased from Dec-Feb complied by Kantar Worldpanel, seen by Channel News.  

This is despite Google's Android platform, which powers Samsung, HTC and LG mobiles, being the most popular mobile platform, accounting for 60% of the phone market.

Top Smartphones Purchased in 3 m/e Feb 2014

1 Apple iPhone 5S
2 Samsung Galaxy S 4
3 Apple iPhone 5C
4 Samsung Galaxy S III
5 Samsung Galaxy S 4 Mini
6 Apple iPhone 4S
7 Samsung Galaxy Note III
8 Sony Xperia Z
9 Apple iPhone 5
10 Samsung Galaxy S II 

In fact, the top 10 most popular smartphones down under, purchased between December - February last were mostly Apple and Samsungs, showing the massive brand power the mobile titans have. 

The duo collectively account for 70% of the market down under. In fact, the only non Samsung or iPhone to make it into the top 10 was Sony Xperia Z. 

Four iPhone's made it into the top 10 - iPhone 5S, 5C, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5 - (4S was more popular than iPhone 5). Five Samsung Galaxy's were among Australia's hottest phones - S4, S3, S4 Mini, Note 3 and even the ageing S2. 

But Tamsin Timpson Strategic Insight Director, Worldpanel ComTech APAC, predicts Sony's rise could continue as consumers gravitate towards 'phablet' or larger sized mobile screens. 

"I wouldn't be surprised to see their share continue to rise in the year as the trend towards bigger screen sizes over 5" continues," she told CN. 

Although this trend to larger screens is obviously a strength for Samsung they are following in the path of Apple - brand loyalty is increasing but consumers buying the next model are often already owners of an iPhone or Galaxy. This implies the "two horses" of the mobile race are not necessarily attracting new customers, says Timpson. 

"In order to attract new smartphone owners, the prices will need to be attractive/affordable - which Samsung and Apple generally are not." 

This is why cheaper phones from Huawei are on the rise, along with HTC, Nokia, LG, although from a small base. 

These brands also suit the trend towards mid level phones as more Aussies opt for prepay phones, which has risen from almost to 32% of smartphone purchases in Feb 2014, up 5%.  

Apple and Samsung models are generally only affordable if bought on contract (where the handset is heavily subsidised), while prepay mobiles need to be more competitive. 

There has been zero increase in smartphone ownership in Australia for a few months - penetration remains fairly constant at 70%.