For the first time ever, Samsung’s flagship Android device has taken the number one spot in global smartphone sales for the quarter. The position was previous held by the iPhone 4S, but due to the iPhone 5′s release near the end of the quarter, a bunch of 4S sales were likely cannibalized by the newer device.
According to the research firm Strategy Analytics, the Samsung Galaxy S III sold 18 million units in the third quarter of this year, while the iPhone 4S managed just 16.2 million. This is a huge jump for Samsung since last quarter, as the Galaxy S III sold just 5.4 million units in the second quarter, while the iPhone 4S sold 19.4 million in the same period.
The full press release from Strategy Analytics is available on Engadget, and it looks like the research company thinks the iPhone will retake the throne quite soon. They say:
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.
So while the Galaxy S III’s spot at the top might not last much longer, it has managed to capture an impressive 11% of the total smartphone market share worldwide. That’s a pretty impressive feat for a single model of smartphone, and it will be interesting to see if the iPhone 5 beats that market share percentage by a significant amount.
Rumors of a Galaxy S4 are already stirring, so Samsung may have another shot at recapturing the throne sometime next year.