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Android Rule: Samsung has overtaken arch enemy Apple for a third consecutive quarter in Australia, analysts said today.

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This comes as Android has also trounced iOS as the top platform in Australia in Q3 – the green man now accounts for almost half (49%) of all smartphones here – leaving Apple trailing with 36%.

Samsung, the makers of the Galaxy S II, experienced market share growth, according to the IDC, who predict Google Android have won the titan smartphone battle in 2011, although only just.

HTC followed as the No.2 Android as the more price friendly Droids drive demand here, say analysts.

“Samsung has climbed to the no.1 position as a result of a strong push for its Galaxy S II,” said Yee-Kuan Lau, IDC analyst.

However, surprisingly, Australia’s phone market – both smartphones and basic mobiles- dipped by 17% based on shipments in Q3, compared to second quarter, according to IDC’s ANZ Mobile Devices Tracker.

However, Apple’s decline was explained by the easing of demand in preparation for the new iPhone 4S launched in October, which sold an incredible 4 million globally and sold out on its first weekend on sale here.

And Cupertino could come back on top once the official sale figures for the iPhone 4S are released early next year.

But it looks like Android is set to grow a whopping 40% over the next three years, say analysts.

And the battle of the OS between iOS and Android comes as Apple and Samung are locked in a protracted battle in Australia and globally which saw Apple succeeding in banning the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale here, only for the ban to be lifted by the High Court just two weeks ago.

Samsung is still looking to ban sale of the iPhone 4S in Australia, claiming it infringes on wireless 3G patents.

The sparring duo are to go head to head before the courts again in March next.

“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.”

Brands like HTC, Samsung and Sony combined efforts to expand brand presence at all price points will drive demand in the coming 3 years, which will help Android grow to “at least” 40% market share, Lau added.

And it is demand by cost-conscious Australians to cheaper Android smartphones compared to more pricey iPhones that is driving sales.

 

HTC continues to grow its market presence with its product portfolio expansion in the second half of 2011, with releases likes its Rhyme and Sensation XL with Beats Audio technology.

The shift from feature mobiles to smartphones is also being driven by low-cost Android phones like Huawei U8180 Ideos X1, under the $150 mark.

In New Zealand, Android is expected to be the smartphone leader.

In total 9.5 million smartphones will have been shipped to ANZ channels by the end of 2011.

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