Fresh from beating Apple in the court room in Australia — after the ban on its Galaxy Tab was overturned earlier this month — Samsung has leapfrogged its rival to take the top spot in the country’s smartphone market, according to new data released by IDC today.

The Korean manufacturer now holds 49 percent of the smartphone market in Australia and 28.5 percent in New Zealand, which puts it ahead of rival Apple which holds 36 percent and 13 percent respectively. In New Zealand, Apple has even slipped into third place with Chinese manufacturer Huawei rising to 20 percent of the country’s smartphone market.

According to IDC, the popularity of the Samsung Galaxy range is responsible for the firm’s growth, while a rise in the availability of mid- and low- range Android devices is beginning to show, with Apple’s market share watered down as a result.

IDC analyst Yee-Kuan Lau explains in more detail:

There is a gradual shift in demand by cost-conscious consumers to low-cost Android smartphones from feature phones across [Australia and New Zealand], as more low cost smartphones are becoming available in the market.

In Australia for example, the shift in demand from feature phones has helped boost sales in the sub-US$150 segment with low-cost Android smartphones such as Huawei U8180 Ideos X1, especially when 90% of feature phones were priced below US$150.

The firm expects that Android will continue to pip Apple in Australia, whilst it foresees that the Google owned operating system will push out a strong lead in New Zealand too.

Australia and New Zealand are frequently analysed side-by-side, however their levels of smartphone usage vary considerably. Smartphones account for 65 percent of all mobile devices in Australia — making it one of the most developed markets on the planet — however, that figure drops down to 43 percent for its Antipodean neighbour.

Further proof that New Zealand’s market is a little further behind on the development curve is shown by the sheer growth of its mobile space. The industry posted 55 percent year on year growth in sales, that’s compared to a 17 percent shrinkage in handset shipments in Australia.

Samsung was recently strongly linked with overthrowing Nokia at the top of India’s smartphone rankings. In October, the firm posted its best ever year of sales, which were up by 300 percent, albeit with lower profits.