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Galaxy S3 de-thrones iPhone for smartphone crown

08 Nov 2012
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Continued strong sales combined with unfortunate timing for Apple have made Samsung's Galaxy S3 the top-selling handset on the market last quarter.

Research firm Strategy Analytics said that over the third quarter of the calendar year the Galaxy S3 moved some 18 million units, edging out Apple's iPhone for the top spot in the smartphone space. The Samsung handset accounted for 10.7 percent of all worldwide sales.

Second on the list was Apple's iPhone 4S, which sold 16.2 million units, equating to 9.7 percent of the market. Apple's iPhone 5, released in late September, was able to move just six million units by the end of the month.

The limited window was still enough to give the iPhone 5 the third spot in the rankings and analysts believe that when the fourth-quarter figures are posted, Apple's latest handset will once again be the world's biggest seller.

"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," said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.

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

While the ranking may not last, the news should come as welcome for Samsung. The company moved just 5.4 million Galaxy S3 units over the previous quarter.

The report also suggests that Apple and Samsung are beginning to distance themselves from the rest of the market. Models outside of the top three spots accounted for just 76 per cent of the total market in Q3, down from an 83.6 per cent share of the market over the second quarter of the year.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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