SAN FRANCISCO—Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s Galaxy S3 was the world's best-selling smartphone in the third quarter, displacing Apple Inc.'s iPhone 4S, according to a report by market research firm Strategy Analytics Inc.
Samsung sold 18 million Galaxy S3 handsets in the third quarter, while Apple sold 16.2 million iPhone 4S handsets, according to Strategy Analytics (Boston). Apple also sold 6 million iPhone 5 handsets for a combined total of 18.2 million iPhones, according to the firm.
Galaxy S3's position as the No. 1 selling smartphone worldwide may be short lived, however. Apple's iPhone 5 became available in late September. Despite being available for less than half of the third quarter, iPhone 5 was the third best selling handset in the quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.
Strategy Analytics also noted that many customers who might otherwise have purchased an iPhone 4S likely held off in anticipation of the iPhone 5 launch.
"We expect the new iPhone 5 to out-ship Samsung’s Galaxy S3 in the fourth quarter of 2012 and Apple should soon reclaim the title of the world's most popular smartphone model," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, in a statement.
Source: Strategy Analytics
Last month, market research firm ABI Research Inc. reported that Samsung—which offers a broad line of smartphones—shipped more than twice as many smartphones as Apple did in the third quarter.
Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said through a statement that the Galaxy S3 accounted for 11 percent of the world's smartphone market in the third quarter, becoming the best seller for the first time. "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," Shah said.
"Samsung's Galaxy S3 has proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia," Mawton said.