It’s interesting reporting on technology – especially when it comes to the question of who’s selling the most of this or that and which brands are gaining ground. This is most evident in the Smartphone market with the challenger brands all looking to exert some influence and demonstrate their growth or market share.

This has never been more evident than today.  Regular research data was released by Kantar WorldPanel ComTech – outlining the breakdown of market share in the Australian Mobile phone market.

Kantar’s data showed Android gaining ground up to 64.4% with Sony and LG sitting behind Samsung, while “other brands” made up a large chunk.

When you put their percentages against those brands it’s quite compelling.  Samsung leads with 39.3%, the next best is Sony with 3.2%.  LG with 2.5% and those “Other” brands – 16.3%.

alcatel MD Sam Skontos

alcatel MD Sam Skontos

Enter stage left Sam Skontos.  Sam is the Managing Director of alcatel for the Asia Pacific region.  Sam’s pretty proud that his little challenger brand is doing so well.  Problem is, it doesn’t show here.

Now, Kantar don’t actually know how many phones of what sort are ever sold.  They operate a “panel” of Australians who report every month on what phone they have, their interest in getting a phone and the general market.

I actually think that’s a really great way to track the overall market, the operating system share and general market feeling – but on a micro level, it really is a poor way to extrapolate a small sample into an entire nation’s purchasing history.

But what else is there – well that’s the issue.  There are two other genuine and very real forms of data.  IDC and GFC.  IDC tracks the sales of mobile phones from the big brands into retailers and telcos.  GFK track the sale of mobile phones from retailers to consumers.

Both are down to the handset.  Both are measured regularly.  Sadly neither are made readily available.

Back to Sam Skontos who was quite passionate today telling EFTM; “We appreciate the role of Kantar data as broad market research, however we do not feel that their methodology means this can be extrapolated to provide a true reflection of market share in Australia. On the contrary, we know from our own sales data that this is simply not the case.

We are proud of the work that has been undertaken in the Australian mobile phone market over many years that now sees us positioned as the clear number three in market share, by volume. This has been verified over the last three quarters by IDC.

If there is a debate about these figures I am very happy to publicly share our sales data, and would challenge my competitors to do the same.

However to be clear, this is not simply a challenge to determine ‘who has the biggest market share’? There is a much bigger issue here, that speaks to the honesty and openness to which some companies in the mobile market are approaching and treating Australian consumers.

The Australian consumer who is looking for a great value handset has embraced our brand, which is why we have hit the number three position for three quarters in a row. We appreciate the growing recognition by Australians as one of the best value handset propositions in the market.”


Sounds like a challenge – because it is.  If LG, Sony, Huawei, Oppo and others want Australian’s to see the level of penetration they have in the market, to challenge the perceptions of their brands – perhaps we need some regular reporting of sales at a slightly more micro and accurate level.

We’re actually quite a small market – so in some cases we’re talking about very low sales numbers.  Time to see if the other brands are prepared to put their figures on the table for all to see?