Apple iPhone 5 Tops Samsung to Become World’s Best Selling Smartphone

iphone 5 staggered view

Apple’s iPhone 5 sold five million units within its first weekend on the market last fall, and according to Strategy Analytics these sales numbers continued to soar through the end of 2012. New data from the analytics firm has crowned Apple’s latest handset as the world’s best-selling smartphone during Q4 2012—ousting Samsung’s Galaxy S3 from its top spot.

In fact, sales of Apple’s smartphone nearly doubled that of Samsung’s newest Galaxy S device. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company shipped an estimated 27.4 million units during the final quarter of last year, while Samsung pushed out 15.4 million units of its 2012 flagship during the same time period. Additionally, the previous generation iPhone 4S shipped an estimated 17.4 million units to bump the Galaxy S3 down to third place.

The S3, however, did account for seven percent of the smartphone market share, falling behind Apple by a large margin. Apple’s iPhone 5 comprised a whopping 12.6 percent of the worldwide smartphone market share and the iPhone 4S claimed 8 percent—reaching 20.6 percent of the market combined.

This marks the first time Apple’s iPhone 5 has surpassed Samsung’s Galaxy S3 in the global smartphone market since the sixth generation iPhone launched back in September.

“The iPhone 5 captured an impressive 13 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever,” Neil Shah, senior analyst with the firm said in a statement.

It’s also worth noting that sales of both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 accounted for 1 in 5 of all global smartphone shipments in Q4 2012. Apple’s success, however, could be short lived if Samsung introduces its highly rumored Galaxy S4 during the first half of 2013.

Earlier this week Russian analyst Eldar Murtazin tweeted that Samsung has a “big announcement” in store for March 14,alluding that the next flagship Galaxy S handset could be unveiled. 

Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
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  1. Mark Says:

    Um This story came out a few months ago and has alread been proved to be total bull? do you guys work for Apple?

    What a crap bit of journalism.

  2. curio Says:

    What’s funny is that only a handful of blog sites call the iphone 5 best smartphone. News sites with good journalists say it’s the S3. Why? Because they do their homework. The thing that makes this a blogger site vs a news site is that Apple has one good quarter and suddenly they’re the best selling, when in reality, the S3 still outsold the iphone 5 by the millions. It was named Smartphone of 2012 by several trustworthy sources, and that fact was backed up in Barcelona at MWC. There is a thing called research, and you should put it to use so that this can one day be a news site, unless you’re doing editorials, then you should say that it’s an editorial.

  3. AmarDas Says:

    I disagree to both the comments, If you talk about satisfaction. i have moved from apple to samsung and now converted back to Apple. The S3 that everyone(idiots) keep praising as the best thing on earth & blah blah…. has been the most annoying piece of crap i have ever used. it was fins in the first month of usage, then it started to slow down, and became so slow that it takes more than 3 seconds just to open the contacts or to move to the call logs. i checked with others as well, all have the similar issues. My almost 3 year old iphone 4 was much much faster to say the least. Sold the samsung for half price and got myself the iphone5. What a brilliant machine and in such a sleek package. everything about it is top notch compared to the oversized piece of plastic samsung. I just cant believe why people cant just see the obvious. however, if you haven’t used an iphone then the samsung might appeal to you.
    When magazines do a test and review of these devices, they assume that it stays consistent. and that is the problem everyone overlooks. the same goes for Car reviews as well. Even the long term reviews also end within couple of months. god bless the buyers basing their choice entirely on these one night stand reviews and Specs.

  4. Ahmed Al Wakeel Says:

    I disagree with the third comment…… it depends on how do use it….. if you put a lot of widgets than it will be slow….. i think i need to mention the fact that you can’t do this on iphone…… if you use a live wallpaper than it may slow down….. you also can’t do this with iphone…. iphone is somehow smooth because of the lack of options and functionality….. is there smart stay?? do iphone have popup play?? iphone haven’t change from iphone 4….. really no big difference

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