Sorry Apple, Samsung's Galaxy S III is More Popular Than Your iPhone

Paul Lilly

Apple may have taken a billion dollar bite out of Samsung in the courtroom, but in the court of public opinion, the Korean handset maker's Galaxy S III is proving to be the most popular smartphone on the planet. It's all in the numbers, and according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, the Galaxy S III leapfrogged over Apple's iPhone 4S to become the world's top selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2012.

Neil Shah, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, credited the Galaxy S III's popularity to its large touchscreen design, extensive distribution, and generous operator subsidies. This is not an insignificant victory, though it will be interesting to see what kind of momentum Samsung is able to build from this.

Even though Samsung's 18 million Galaxy S III shipments in Q3 topped Apple's 16.2 million iPhone 4S shipments, if you also factor in the iPhone 5, which shipped 6 million units, current and semi-current iPhone shipments jump ahead of the Galaxy S III by 4.2 million units. More importantly is the fact that the iPhone 5 has gotten off to a fast start.

"Samsung’s Galaxy S III has proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia. However, the Galaxy S III's position as the world’s best-selling smartphone model is likely to be short-lived," predicts Neil Mawston , executive director at Strategy Analytics. "The Apple iPhone 5 has gotten off to a solid start already with an estimated 6.0 million units shipped globally during Q3 2012. We expect the new iPhone 5 to out-ship Samsung’s Galaxy S3 in the coming fourth quarter of 2012 and Apple should soon reclaim the title of the world’s most popular smartphone model."

Maybe, maybe not. For right now anyway, the Galaxy S III is single best selling handset in the world.

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