Samsung Galaxy S III is now the world’s most popular smartphone – but for how long?

8 Nov 2012

The Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone

Samsung’s Galaxy S III has overtaken Apple’s iPhone 4S to become the world’s best-selling smartphone. But with sales of the iPhone 5 showing strong figures, Samsung’s time as the world’s No 1 may not last.

The figures come from Strategy Analytics’ Handset Country Share Tracker and show that 18m Galaxy S III smartphones were shipped worldwide during the third quarter of 2012, compared to 16.2m iPhone 4S units.

Strategy Analytics credits Samsung’s success to the S III’s large touchscreen, extensive distribution and generous operator subsidies. The smartphone has proved immensely popular in the US, Europe and Asia, accounting for 11pc of the global market share.

The drop in demand for the iPhone 4S (which shipped 19.4m units in Q2 2012) can be blamed on consumers holding off on iPhone purchases during Q3 in anticipation of the iPhone 5 – meaning Samsung’s position at the top of the pile could be short-lived in the wake of iPhone 5 sales.

The latest smartphone from Apple has already shipped about 6m units in Q3 2012, and it is predicted that the iPhone 5 will take the top spot in Q4.

Smartphone shipments, Q3 2012, Strategy Analytics

Table via Strategy Analytics

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.