Galaxy S III surged past iPhone 4S in third quarter

Strategy Analytics reports that during third quarter, and for the first time this year, Samsung Galaxy S III shipments surged ahead of iPhone 4S.

The South Korean manufacturer shipped 18 million S3s, for 10.7 percent share in global smartphone share. Strategy Analytics states that Samsung's success can be attributed to a number of factors, such as extensive market availability, important operator subsidies and large touchscreen design. On the other hand, Apple only managed to ship an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units globally, reaching 9.7 percent share, enough to lose the crown as the world's most popular smartphone.

But the numbers are somewhat deceptive, since Apple launched iPhone 5 late in the quarter. I reported that "Apple claims two million iPhone 5 pre-orders in 24 hours" and sales of 5 million units in the first weekend, which are mostly in line with the report from Strategy Analytics.

Shipments for the the latest iteration in the iPhone lineup reached 6 million units during the third quarter. While amounting to only about one-third Galaxy S III shipments, iPhone 5 reached the number in less than two weeks from its September 21 launch. And here comes the kicker prediction that will undoubtedly flame the war between Android and iPhone fans.

"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", Strategy Analytics states. But looked at another way, Apple gave up nothing to Samsung, since combined iPhone 4S and 5 shipments surpassed Galaxy S III by 4.2 million units.

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