Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has outsold Apple’s iPhone 4S for the first time, becoming the world’s best-selling smartphone during the third quarter of this year, according to new data. Research firm Strategy Analytics reports that Samsung sold 18 million models, compared with Apple’s 16.2 million sales, in the third quarter of 2012. However, Apple’s new iPhone 5 is widely expected to reclaim the top sales spot.
Strong Galaxy smartphone sales helped Samsung report record profits in the three months to September. Net profit was 6.5tn won ($5.9bn; £3.7bn), up 91% from a year earlier.
But analysts say that one reason Samsung’s phone was able to wrest the top sales spot from Apple’s iPhone 4 was because many customers were waiting for the iPhone 5, which was launched during the third quarter.
The Apple iPhone 5 has already got off to a solid start and “we expect the new iPhone 5 to out-ship Samsung’s Galaxy S3 in the coming fourth quarter”, said Neil Mawston.
“Apple should soon reclaim the title of the world’s most popular smartphone model,” he added.
A similar report from Strategy Analytics yesterday shows that its last generation flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S2 was the most widely available smartphone during the first half of 2012, with all mobile networks and retail shops offering the handset.
The Galaxy S2 bested the Iphone 4 and Nokia Lumia 820 to be crowned the “most widely-available smartphone”, although these and the quad-core HTC One X closely followed behind in the list.
“Samsung pipped Apple to the top spot with the Galaxy S II i9100 (16GB), closely followed by Apple’s Iphone 4S 16 GB,” the research firm said. “Impressively the Galaxy SII is available from every network operator and retail channel analysed.”