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11 Mar 2018

iOS Reclaims Lead in Smartphone OS in Australia with Highest Ever Share in a Quarter in 2017Q4, IDC Reports

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, March 7th, 2018 - The Australian mobile phone market exceeded growth expectations, shipping 3.36m devices in 2017Q4, a 15.7% YoY growth. According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 92% of handsets were smartphones whilst the remaining were feature phones in 2017Q4. Growth came primarily from Apple’s newly released iPhone X, as the device hit stores countrywide.

Feature phones continue to address a specific customer base. Majority of feature phones shipped into the country are 3G enabled prepaid devices offered by telecom providers along with the nostalgic Nokia 3310 3G.

After leading smartphone shipments in Q2 and Q3, Android conceded the lead to Apple’s iOS in Q4. “Riding on the back of the very successful iPhone X launch, the tables have turned, and iOS has not only returned to the top but stretched its lead to grab 56.2% share compared to 43.8% for Android," says Bilal Javed, Senior Market Analyst at IDC Australia.

Windows powered phones didn’t make the cut, hindered by a lack of new devices and apps on the platform across both consumer and commercial segments.

After the lower demand of iPhone 8/8 Plus compared to its predecessors, Apple extended their lead at the top in 2017Q4 where they grabbed 56.2% of the smartphone market. “This rise was expected as consumers held off purchase in anticipation of iPhone X,” adds Bilal.

Though grabbing the phone OS leadership position, the challenge for Apple will be to maintain their stronghold on the smartphone market as hype from iPhone X slows down and Android vendors launch newer devices in the first half of 2018.

Samsung was able to hold second spot even after their share dropped to 15.4% in 2017Q4 from 24.6% in 2017Q3. Samsung's shipments were fuelled by the Galaxy S8/S8+ and Note 8 which accounted for over 55% of all Samsung smartphones in the quarter. Samsung, benefitting from a diversified portfolio, saw growth of the J series and A series smartphones as it competes with other Android vendors in the mid-range price segment.

For the rest beyond Apple and Samsung, the remaining market share is subject to intense battles. Telstra branded smartphones (primarily manufactured by ZTE), dominate the low-priced prepaid space with 5.4% of the market. TCL owned Alcatel based on its partnership with Vodafone for the U series and A series held 4% of the smartphone market in 2017Q4. ZTE rounded off the top 5 with 3.5% of the market. OPPO, Google and Huawei along with Optus branded smartphones (primarily manufactured by Alcatel) follow very closely behind.

The market that showed signs of saturation in 2016 seems to have rebounded at least for the short term. "On the back of new Android product launches witnessed at MWC last week along with the hype around 5G plus advancements in AI mean that the smartphone market will remain highly competitive, and vendors will need to continue to innovate or risk falling behind," adds Bilal.

Visit the IDC Australia on to learn more about the program and the research topics covered.

For more information on the IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Bilal Javed at

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International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC

For press enquiries, please contact:

Bilal Javed

Senior Market Analyst


+61 2 9925 2232


For more information, contact:

Bilal Javed
+61 2 9925 2232

Shirley-Ann Ujhazy
+61 2 9925 2232