The Apple iPhone 4S was unseated by the Samsung Galaxy S III as the world's best-selling smartphone for the third quarter of 2012, with the South Korean manufacturer shipping 18 million units of the handset worldwide, according to Strategy Analytics.
The victory is a first for the GSIII, accounting for 11% of the total smartphone market. Powered by Android and equipped with a spacious 4.8-inch display, the phone garnered quite the following since its May unveiling.
Landing first in Europe earlier this year, the third-generation Galaxy S came Stateside in June, appearing on all the major carriers, a move that helped the device become so popular, according to Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics. "A large touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the Galaxy S3's success," said Shah.
By comparison, Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million units of the iPhone 4S, holding 9.7% of the market. Despite losing its top spot this quarter, Apple will likely reclaim its first-place title in 4Q12, as its latest flagship model, the iPhone 5, will have been on the market for more than a few weeks, as was the case this period.
Hitting stores a few weeks shy of the end of the third quarter on Sept. 21, the fifth-generation iPhone still managed to rank third for global smartphone shipments, with 6 million units already sold, a strong start for the device, according to Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, Neil Mawston.
"Samsung's Galaxy S3 has proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia. However, the Galaxy S3's position as the world's best-selling smartphone model is likely to be short-lived," said Mawston. "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."
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