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PHONES / INDUSTRY

Sony + LG Rise In Android Race

By Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 15/10/2013

Samsung is the "brightest star" but Sony, LG are catching up

That's according to local IDC analyst, Aman Bajaj, who says it was a "close call" between Sony and LG  for the No. 2 spot in the Android smartphone race in ANZ - beating HTC, who previous held the No. 2 spot. 

Recent IDC figures for ANZ show the Google OS now accounts for almost 60% of the total phone market- ahead of iOS. 

HTC, is still in the top 5 but shipments are not as vast as Sony, or LG as it lack models at mid level. Its hero HTC One is a premium-end phone up against likes of iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4. 

Chinese vendors Hauwei is also doing well, locally, Bajaj told CN.  

LG's L-Series including L2, L3, and L7 contributed to its success locally, with "good uptake through the retail channel". 

Google Nexus 4 smartphone, which LG made in conjunction with the Android maker, Google, also added to the Korean's new standing in the mobile race,which it joined only recently.  

Nexus 4 sold out at various occasions and its online only offer at $150 cheaper than retail was "well received", the NZ based analyst said. 

LG's future success will also be helped by new hero 'G2' which has already got rave reviews (Smarthouse gave it 5 stars) and will Sony's new Xperia Z.

Ever since it broke away from Ericsson, Sony, too, has upped the ante revamped its smartphone line-up at the premium end but also at the mid tier. Sony new Xperia Z 1 which has 20.7 megapixel camera (same its standalone DSLR) pay heed to this, as have the rave reviews it received.

Z Ultra 6.4" phablet is also spectastic - the Full HD screen is the world's skinniest (and largest) full HD phone display, 2.3Ghz Quad Core processor, up to 64GB of expandable memory and runs Android Jellybean 4.2.

But market share held by these Android rising stars in small compared to the king, Samsung.

The Galaxy maker's strategy of developing phone for every corner of the market has helped it steal the smartphone crown right out of Apple hands.   

"Samsung are still the dominant Android player, some I don't see changing," says Bajaj, due to the Koreans's sheer "scale, and models at various price points".  One in three smartphones sold globally are Samsung, figures suggest. The Korean giant sold 71.3 million smartphones - more than its biggest four competitors put together - in the second quarter of 2013, according to analysts Gartner.

Speaking of Apple, Bajaj expects Cupertino's marketshare to grow in Q3, on the back of new iPhone 5s release. However, the new iPhone, with its main talking point being the fingerprint sensors is not sufficient to take major share from Android, he says. 

Poor sales of the colourful but plastic iPhone 5c also won't help Apple claw back share. 

Apple share of the mobile pie may change in Q4, if vendors target iPhone users for holiday phone sales, Bajaj believes. 


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