Samsung Galaxy S III Steals iPhone's Crown - InformationWeek
11:17 AM

Samsung Galaxy S III Steals iPhone's Crown

Samsung's 2012 flagship smartphone was the most popular device during the third quarter of the year, ousting Apple's long-time title holder.

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The Samsung Galaxy S III was the best-selling smartphone of the third quarter, said Strategy Analytics. Its data shows Samsung sold 18 million of them during the July - September period. Earlier this month, Samsung announced that it had sold a total of 30 million GSIIIs since the phone went on sale in May.

Looking at Apple's smartphone sales during the same quarter, Strategy Analytics shows that Apple sold 16.2 million iPhone 4S devices. Clearly, Samsung's GSIII beat the iPhone 4S by nearly 2 million units, giving it the smartphone crown -- at least for a while.

"Samsung's Galaxy S3 has proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. "However, the Galaxy S3's position as the world's best-selling smartphone model is likely to be short-lived."

Why? The iPhone 5, of course. The iPhone 5, which debuted September 21, was probably responsible for the dip in iPhone 4S sales during the latter half of the third quarter as consumers refrained from making purchases until the new device became available. Further, sales of the iPhone 4S probably dropped off a cliff once the iPhone 5 actually reached store shelves.

[ More bad news for the iPhone maker: Apple Hit With $368 Million Patent Verdict. ]

The Galaxy S III is sold by the top four wireless networks in the U.S., as well as some of the smaller regional players. The iPhone 5 has a similar distribution setup, with the exception being T-Mobile USA, which does not sell the iPhone.

"The Apple iPhone 5 has gotten off to a solid start already with an estimated 6.0 million units shipped globally during Q3 2012," continued Mawston. "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."

I wouldn't feel bad for Samsung, though. Late last month the company launched sales of the Galaxy Note II in the U.S. and other countries. The Note II is already off to a strong start around the world. Combined, sales of the GSIII and Note II will outpace Apple's iPhone 5. In fact, the Note II has already reached sales of 3 million in just a few weeks.

As it has been all year, Samsung and Apple will continue to battle one another for smartphone supremacy into 2013 and beyond.

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User Rank: Apprentice
11/8/2012 | 8:41:22 PM
re: Samsung Galaxy S III Steals iPhone's Crown
"Galaxy S3 Steals iPhone's Crown!" makes for a good headline, but doesn't really mean anything. The Galaxy S3 outsold the iPhone 4S during the quarter - a quarter in which Apple switched out their flagship phone, so to compare just one of those phones to a competitor's is disingenuous. To be comparable, they should have counted the number of iPhone 4S's sold up until the 5 was released, and then count the number of 5s sold for the rest of the quarter. It can be assumed Apple didn't sell a lot of 4S's after the iPhone 5 was released, so using the actual flagship-to-flagship phone comparison, Samsung sold 18m Galaxy S3s, compared to Apple's 22.2m iPhone 4S and 5's. And this, during a quarter when the Galaxy S3 was brand new, and the the iPhone 4S was 9 months old at the start of the quarter. Even mainstream media was talking about the iPhone 5 being released any day, so a lot of would-be iPhone customers held off. See what next quarter looks like, when the iPhone 5 gets a full quarter as Apple's flagship phone, and the Galaxy S3 is getting old. This is just sensationalizing a fluke of a statistic.
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