Samsung Galaxy S III is smartphone top seller - for the moment

Galaxy S III topped both iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5, researchers say


The Samsung Galaxy S III, for the first time, is the top-selling smartphone in the world, beating out both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, according to Strategy Analytics data for the third quarter of 2012.

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Samsung Galaxy

The Galaxy S III, researchers said, sold 18 million units globally during the third quarter, representing 11% of all devices shipped, putting it ahead of the iPhone 4S at 16.2 million. Strategy Analytics credited strong carrier subsidies, an attractive display and wide distribution for the Galaxy S III's success in the quarter.

What's more, said senior analyst Neil Shah, Apple's own sales slowdown likely helped propel the Galaxy S III to the top.

"Consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter," he says. The iPhone 5 saw 6 million units sold during this period, despite being released very near the end of the quarter.

Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston says that this lead for the Galaxy S III is likely to be a temporary phenomenon, however.

"The Apple iPhone 5 has gotten off to a solid start already with an estimated 6 million units shipped globally during Q3 2012. We expect the new iPhone 5 to out-ship Samsung's Galaxy [S III] in the coming fourth quarter of 2012 and Apple should soon reclaim the title of the world's most popular smartphone model," he says.

Email Jon Gold at and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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