The secret to Samsung’s success isn’t high-priced Galaxy S phones

Angus Kidman 9 November 2017 NEWS


Samsung is growing in Australia, while Apple has slid a little.

The smart phone universe is dominated by two colossus brands: Samsung and Apple. But new statistics show that much of Samsung's success comes not from its high-priced Galaxy S and Note lines, but from its cheaper devices.

In the three months ending September 2017, Android maintained its dominant position in Australia, new stats from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech show. Android accounted for 64.9% of sales, with iOS in second place with 34.5%, down 2.6% on the same period a year prior.

Australia Jul-Sep 16 Jul-Sep 17 % change
Android 58.2% 64.9% 6.7%
iOS 37.1% 34.5% -2.6%
Windows 2.3% 0.5% -1.8%
Other 2.4% 0.1% -2.3%

It's no surprise that Apple's share dropped: the iPhone 8 was only on sale for two weeks during these stats, and many Apple loyalists chose to hold off for the fancier iPhone X instead. Apple won't be too worried, though, as the iPhone 7 was the biggest-selling phone in Australia across those three months, with 10.1% of the market.

What really jumped out at me was that Samsung is growing its share with its affordable models, including the Samsung A5 and Samsung J series. Its overall market share went up from 30.9% last year to 34.7% this year, and Kantar says that's been driven by the cheaper models. "The strength of these models allowed Samsung to hold on to its share of the Android market, growing slightly year-on-year from 53% in Sep 2016 to 53.6% in Sep 2017."

That shift reflects a very modern reality: you don't have to spend close to $1,000 to get a decent phone. It's becoming harder each year for phone manufacturers to come up with "wow" features, and the battery life and camera offerings even in sub-$500 Android handsets are acceptable for all but the most finicky of users. And if you're a smart shopper (hint: start with our weekly bargain phone roundup), you can score a discount even on those discounted models.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on

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