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Strategy Analytics: Samsung Galaxy S3 Becomes World's Best-Selling Smartphone Model in Q3 2012

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 overtook Apple’s iPhone 4S to become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2012. A large touchscreen, extensive distribution and generous operator subsidies have propelled the Galaxy S3 to the top spot.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone model shipped 18.0 million units worldwide during the third quarter of 2012. The Galaxy S3 captured an impressive 11 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever. 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. Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units worldwide for second place, as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “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.”

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Shipments & Marketshare by Model in Q3 2012 1

Global Smartphone Shipments by Model (Millions of Units)   Q2 '12   Q3 '12
Samsung Galaxy S3 5.4 18.0
Apple iPhone 4S 19.4 16.2
Apple iPhone 5 0.0 6.0
Others   128.0     127.6  
Total   152.8     167.8  
Global Smartphone Marketshare by Model (% of Total)   Q2 '12   Q3 '12
Samsung Galaxy S3 3.5 % 10.7 %
Apple iPhone 4S 12.7 % 9.7 %
Apple iPhone 5 0.0 % 3.6 %
Others   83.8 %   76.0 %
Total   100.0 %   100.0 %

1 Numbers are rounded. Updated total. The Samsung Galaxy S3 total does not include the S3 Mini, S2, S or any other related models. The iPhone 4S total does not include the iPhone 5, iPhone 4 or any other related models.

The full report, Samsung Galaxy S3 Becomes World's Best-Selling Smartphone Model in Q3 2012, is published by the Strategy Analytics Country Share Tracker (CST) service, details of which can be found here:

About Strategy Analytics:

Strategy Analytics is a global, independent research and consulting firm. The company is headquartered in Boston, USA, with offices in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, India and China. Visit for more information.

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