Apple's iPhone 5 Knocks Samsung's Galaxy S3 Out Of Best-Selling Smartphone Global Top Spot

20 February 2013, 1:34 pm EST By Jimmie Geddes email: Mobile & Apps

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple's iPhone 5 overtook Samsung's Galaxy S3 as the world's best-selling smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Samsung Galaxy S3 previously took the top spot in the third quarter of 2012, but it was also overtaken by Apple's iPhone 4S in the fourth quarter of 2012, pushing Samsung's current flagship into third place.

Apple shipped approximately 27.4 million iPhone 5 smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to estimates. Apple's latest smartphone also captured a very impressive 13 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally, making it the world's best-selling smartphone for the first time. Strategy Analytics believes the iPhone 5 was able to take this title because of Apple's distribution and relationships with mobile carriers around the globe, as well as generous operator subsidies stemming from the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 wasn't the only smartphone from Apple that moved up in the rankings to knock Samsung's Galaxy S3 out of the top spot.

Apple's iPhone 4S, which was released in September 2011, took the second spot in global sales in the fourth quarter of 2012 by shipping approximately 17.4 million smartphones globally. The iPhone 4S captured an impressive 8 percent of global smartphone shipments during the quarter, which gave Apple the bragging rights of having the top two smartphone sales globally.

Samsung's Galaxy S3, which had been the previously best-selling smartphone globally, shipped approximately 15.4 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2012. The Galaxy S3 took 7.1 percent of global smartphone shipments during that quarter.

Strategy Analytics also points out that the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S accounts for 1 in 5 of all smartphones shipped during Q4 of 2012.  The firm believes that Samsung's Galaxy S3 dropped to third because demand for the device already peaked and consumers are holding off on purchasing the Galaxy S3 while waiting for Samsung to introduce the Galaxy S4, expected to be announced in March.

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