Galaxy S III sales overtake iPhone 4S

Apple's incredibly popular smartphone is finally beaten by Samsung.

By Benzinga Nov 8, 2012 12:29PM

Woman sitting on steps with smartphone copyright Image Source, Image Source, Getty ImagesBy Louis Bedigian, Benzinga Staff Writer

Samsung's Galaxy S III has proven to be a formidable foe to Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 4S. During the third quarter, the South Korean-made smartphone sold more units than any other cellular device.

According to Strategy Analytics, a global analysis and forecasting firm, the Galaxy S III moved an impressive 18 million units during the third quarter --  a significant increase over the 5.4 million sold in the second quarter.

"The Galaxy S III captured an impressive 11% share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world's best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever," Strategy Analytics wrote in its report. "A large touch screen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the Galaxy S III's success."

Samsung recently announced that it had sold 30 million Galaxy S III units worldwide, making it the company's most successful smartphone to date. The South Korean manufacturer is expected to release a follow-up, presumably titled the Galaxy S IV, in February.

IHS (IHS) iSuppli recently conducted a study and found that the Galaxy S III's display is actually superior to the popular Retina Display contained in the iPhone 5.

"As the first product with in-cell touch, the iPhone 5 represents a major achievement, improving the image quality and reducing the thickness of the smartphone compared to previous models," said Vinita Jakhanwal, director for Small & Medium Displays at IHS. "And although the iPhone 5 still trails the Galaxy S III in the display specs race, the iPhone 5 overall remains thinner than the Galaxy S III, and its display color gamut is more than sufficient for most users."

In addition to the millions of Galaxy S III units that were sold, Samsung also announced that the Galaxy Note II had moved three million units worldwide.

While Apple was defeated during the quarter (possibly because some consumers were waiting for the iPhone 5 to be released), the iPhone maker still managed to sell an impressive 16.2 million iPhone 4S units. This was in addition to the six million iPhone 5 units that Apple sold at the end of the quarter.

Overall, more than 167 million smartphones were sold globally. When combined with standard cellular phone sales (including pay-as-you-go models), cellular device shipments could top 400 million quarterly and reach a 12-month total of 1.5 billion units.

Follow Louis Bedigian at @LouisBedigianBZ

More from Benzinga
Nov 8, 2012 1:34PM
Apple might be king, but my kids asked for  a Samsung and another a Lumia. I couldn't believe it. But when asked why - they said because I have an iphone and so do all the other parents. I think that says it all. The cool factor is gone.
Nov 8, 2012 1:57PM

The Galaxy's are great phones.  I have one and would buy another next time I get a phone although I would look around at what else is on the market.  Apple is playing the same game they have played for years imo, making money by soaking their customers with high prices until enough people wise up and their sells collapse down to only small core of completely dedicated followers.  Nothing wrong with Apple products but personally I can't imagine why anyone would pay what they ask for something with no significant advantages.

Nov 8, 2012 2:06PM
Looks like the love affair with Apple is dwindling. When you are towering above your competitors you have a long way to fall.
Nov 8, 2012 3:11PM
YES!!!!!! Such great news.  I love SAMSUNG phones.  I'm not an Apple person/customer, and I never will be. I DESPISE APPLE!!! 
Nov 8, 2012 2:56PM

Whay are you comparing units SHIPPED from the Samsung factory to actual SALES of iphones?

Bad comparison and not very instructive.  Also it would only be fair to compare the Samsung flagship SIII to Apple flagship during same quarter.  That means 16.2 million 4S (flagship till 5 introduced) plus 5 million of the 5 (new flagship available only at end of quarter)   and again that is SOLD not just shipped out the factory door. Samsung can play games with only shipped numbers.  This seems to be another exampel of overzealous desires to show Apple is down..they are not sales are UP.

Nov 8, 2012 3:22PM
I have the Galaxy S 3 and it is fabulous!!
Nov 8, 2012 2:53PM
Where are the fan boys to tell us how original Apple is when in fact their 4S didn't have LTE and they are also being sued by Samsung over 4G LTE patents in the iPhone 5??

From above their phone has a inferior display.

A half baked Maps App.

Line up and pay more for yesterdays phone is illustrated quite humorously in Samsung's ads.
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