Samsung’s Galaxy S3 have finally eclipsed it’s the most serious rival Apple’s iPhone 4S and became the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2012, Strategy Analytics says.
The device, which was released in May, earned its top place due to a large touchscreen, extensive distribution and generous operator subsidies.
The Galaxy S III shipped 18 million units worldwide, compared with 16.2 million for the iPhone 4S. That’s 11% of all smartphones shipped on the planet, CNN reports.
Sales of the iPhone 4S fell drastically from the second to the third quarter, from 19.4 million handsets to 16.2. Although Apple’s own statistics don’t break out iPhone sales by model, they also showed a big dip, which the Cupertino based tech company attributed to anticipation for the next model.
Once the iPhone 5 has finally gone on sale, however, it’s clear there was massive demand. Sales reached 6 million phones, alone accounting for 3.6% of the global smartphone market.
Combined, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 actually outnumber the Galaxy S III, 11.3% to 10.7%, but as individual models, the Galaxy S III beats the 4S, which is just 9.7%.
By the way, sales of the Samsung Galaxy S III have been strong, hitting 20 million in 100 days, and then 30 million in less than six months.
Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone model shipped 18.0 million units worldwide during the third quarter of 2012. The Galaxy S3 captured an impressive 11 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever.”
He added: “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. Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units worldwide for second place, as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter.”
Which is more, Samsung’s smartphone saw a broad release, available on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. This made Galaxy S3 available to as broad an audience as possible. Availability matters, whereas Apple pitches its products to only suitable carriers, ZDNet writes.
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, continued: “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.”
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley had earlier reported that the Galaxy S III overtook the iPhone 4S in sales at major U.S. carriers back in August.