Samsung Galaxy SIII Unseats the iPhone 4S as Best-Selling Smartphone

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It was a great run. The iPhone 4S was the top-selling smartphone in the world—until now. A report from Strategy Analytics today says that the Samsung Galaxy SIII was the top selling smartphone in Q3 2012. But with the iPhone 5 now out, how long will that last?

Even as an Apple fan, I have to give kudos to Samsung for making a great phone in the SIII. I had a chance to try a friend’s a while back and, yeah, it’s a fast smartphone with an amazing screen. Personally I think it’s a little large to hold, but still…

Lots of people have been attracted to a phone that offers things like NFC and other touches that Apple doesn’t (and might not ever). It’s no surprise then that while we were all expecting an iPhone 5 in Q3, iPhone 4S orders slipped (come on, who’s going to buy a new iPhone unless they have to when there is so much buzz about a new one coming out):

“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. 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.”
Via: Strategy Analytics: Samsung Galaxy S3 Becomes World’s Best-Selling Smartphone Model in Q3 2012 | Business Wire

Martin Bryant of The Next Web makes this point (which is acknowledged by the Strategy Analytics report):

With Samsung and Apple the undisputed kings of the smartphone market right now, releasing flagship devices once per year, six months apart from each other, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the top spot in studies such as this one flip between the two companies regularly.
Via: Samsung’s Galaxy S III overtakes the iPhone 4S as the world’s best-selling smartphone in Q3 2012

So let’s just not go on and on about “iPhones are better because we ship more” or “OMG, Samsung is killing Apple because they’s taken the top spot from Apple”, because these are figures that are going to jump around quarter to quarter.

I will say that if Apple doesn’t blow our minds with the next brand new iPhone, they might be in trouble. I expect an iPhone 5S (or whatever they will call it) iteration in the spring and maybe in 2014 a whole new phone. That’s when we need to start paying attention.

Photo by Veron Chan on Flickr

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  • Shrivatsa Somany

    I would say the title is just that little teeny bit (no sarcasm) too sensational. You guys should add [In Q3].

    On a different note, as much as I detest Samsung consumer products in general (TVs, phones, whatever..) this is quite an amazing feat. They have done a good job building a brand and a brand name, and it has paid off. I agree with the closing paragraph, Apple cannot afford to just incrementally update the iPhone next year. They can keep the design for the most part, but they need some amazing hardware-level features. They also need to update the OS a little more. Hopefully, Ive is going to enter this space with a huge bang.

  • Jebanec

    It was only a matter of time

  • Ethan

    That’s not surprising for two reasons. First of all, people were waiting for the iPhone 5 in Q3 and that undoubtedly cut into sales of the 4S. Second, the “S” in “4S” is for “sucks.” I went from a reliable workhorse in the 4 to a buggy pile of trash in the 4S. If Apple wasn’t Apple, the 4S would have ruined the company.

  • Laurnzo

    I think this is the most biased article I have read on this blog so far. I know it’s a iPhone fan blog and i do love my apple products but I don’t think that had anything to do with the up coming release of iPhone 5. Lets call a spade a spade. Most iPhone buyers were sort of, had the idea of what the iPhone 5 was going to look like as well as the hardware, ios 6 which was gonna be on the 4s and chose to skip it for the galaxy 3. I predict the iPhone won’t regain it’s title until apple comes out with some changes in their IU and design. Will we all know by the end of the forth quarter.

    • Kimk69

      Yeah, exactly, everyone new what the iPhone 5 was going to be like and that’s why they waited for it.

      • bcsc

        The problem with this is the stats. In Q2 Sammy only sold 5.4 million S3’s in Q3 they sold 18.4 million. Such a drastic jump could be attributed to people waiting for an official announcement in the i5. Not hearing what they want would show a reason for this quarterly climb.

  • barondebxl

    I’m not surprise at all, The Galaxy S3 is much better than the iphone 5, let alone the 4s. Go Samsung!!!!!!!

  • Jippy

    We can see next year how apple can survive.

    Apple already terminate Scott Forstall (Senior Vice President in charge of iOS)
    (So who will lead improvement ?)

    Not continue contract with Samsung.
    (even other vendor like toshiba and lg, got difficulty to deliver apple needs)

    Sack Google Maps and Youtube.

    (Even apple current maps sucks)

    Ignore Wozniak idea, to make iphone wider before apple start iphone 5.
    (apple management to arrogant)

    Patent trolling, latest news apple will sue any tablet or phone using stylus
    (even apple not using any stylus on their product, but because they had patent and sue everyone who will create gadget with stylus sigh…..)

  • sana

    great post