Battle of the smartphones

Employee of Allphones Riverlink Jennifer Spence with the 3 most popular smart phones, the iPhone, Samsung and Sony Ericsson Arc.
Employee of Allphones Riverlink Jennifer Spence with the 3 most popular smart phones, the iPhone, Samsung and Sony Ericsson Arc. Sarah Harvey

THE Apple iPhone, credited as the breakthrough pioneer of smartphone technology, is facing a fight for top position as rival products challenge for consumer cash.

The long-time favourite for many technology enthusiasts has found strong competition with the Samsung Galaxy II, powered by Android, whittling away its once dominant position in the market.

Allphones Riverlink owner Michael Reynolds said it was a 50/50 split between iPhone 4S and its Android rival.

"The iPhone is definitely very sought-after, closely followed by the Samsung Galaxy II. There are two main platforms. There is the iPhone who use the Apple system and Google Android," he said.

"In terms of differences, there is not a lot of difference between them. It is kind of like buying a Ford or a Holden. They are both dual core processors, they both have eight-megapixel cameras and they both have wi-fi.

"They have a lot of similarities but are different at the same time."

But the market again will soon have another strong competitor, with Nokia to launch a smartphone powered by Windows, in a bid to reannounce itself as a heavyweight.

"Nokia has changed to the Windows operating system, but they have lost a lot of market share in the last couple of years," Mr Reynolds said.

Another major player in overseas markets, the Blackberry, has failed to rise to the heights of its counterparts in Australia.

Mr Reynolds said it could be simply because of the choice Australian consumers had.

"I think it has been particularly because of the amount of choice we have here and also the user friendliness of them. They are very big in the States and Africa as well but they are slightly harder to navigate around."

Mr Reynolds said research had shown consumers aged between their mid-teens to mid-30s were more likely to make the switch from an iPhone to Android, while older consumers were more likely to stick to the tried and tested iPhone.

When phone contracts are up, Mr Reynolds said price and personal preference were the motivating factors.

"Everybody is different. Some people just want particular brands, people who want an iPhone and other people are open to other brands," he said.

"Sometimes it goes on price. The iPhone tends to be more expensive than the Android, they are more reasonably priced.

"Apple make a great product but they are even better at marketing it."

Topics:  smarter shopping smartphones

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