By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Samsung has knocked-off Creative Labs as the number two mp3 player brand in the Australian market, behind Apple, according to July GfK data provided by the company.

The move up in ranking makes Samsung the current leader of the non-Apple pack, which includes brands like Sony, Creative, iRiver and SanDisk.

According to GfK figures quoted by Samsung, Apple’s market share is currently in the vicinity of 55 per cent by units and closer to 80 per cent by value.

The iPod-maker has maintained high value share because it sells more highly-priced hard disk drive players than most of its competitors, with the rest of the market shifting to lower-priced flash memory devices in the last 12 months.

However, Samsung thanks its successful K5 mp3 player, and more recently the K3, for propelling the brand into the number two position with around 6.6 per cent market share in July.

The top 10 list for mp3 players is dominated by Apple’s various iPod models, but Samsung claims the flash-based K3 is the highest ranked non-Apple player in the market.

“The key for us was when we took the challenge head-on in committing to the market with in excess of $1.2 million for marketing and educating consumers, was that we offered a unique selling proposition with the K5,” Samsung product manager – digital AV, Sagar Dave, told

“Here was an mp3 player with as slide-out speaker and that’s when we were able to start rolling, and we had a big viral marketing campaign with Pussy Cat Dolls with the K5.

“That spilled over to early 2007, when we introduced the K3 and people already knew about the K5. Here was a different mp3 in terms of styling and retailers loved the look of it, it was easy to sell but looked slimmer than iPod Nano with more features. It was a mix of great marketing, genuinely good product and excellent design all working together,” he said.

The company is expecting an even better result for the August GfK sales figures, which will be released in the next few weeks.

Last year, Samsung made the extremely ambitious prediction that it would usurp the iPod as the number one mp3 brand in the Australian market before the end of 2007.

Dave doesn’t regret the prediction, and says the general goal still stands, albeit with the deadline likely to pass.

“Like in any other product we come out with, Samsung is an aggressive brand which want to give clear value to consumers with strong features. We will move towards this goal and we will always aim for market leadership," he said.

“As you have seen with LCD, we were a sleeping tiger for a few years, but when we got it right we took it out. So if we are not number one, we aim to be there. There is still a lot to do, but we are getting there."

Read tomorrow for Creative’s response.