Samsung’s Galaxy S III overtook Apple’s iPhone 4S to become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time in the third quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. But the research firm is tipping Apple to regain top spot in the current fourth quarter.
The large touchscreen, extensive distribution and generous operator subsidies are said to have propelled the Galaxy S III to the top spot – though Apple sales were hindered by customers hanging off, awaiting the well-telegraphed new iPhone 5 which hit the market in late September.
“Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone model shipped 18 million units worldwide during the third quarter of 2012,” said Strategy Analytics senior analyst Neil Shah, attributing it with an 11 percent market share.
Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units worldwide for second place, as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of the widely expected iPhone 5 at the end of the quarter. It also shipped an estimated 6 million units of the new iPhone 5.
“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,” said Shah.