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iPhone 5 and 4S Top Samsung Galaxy S III in Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 4Q 2012

Back in November, research firm Strategy Analytics estimated that Samsung's Galaxy S III had topped the list of worldwide smartphone shipments for the third quarter of 2012, taking advantage of a lull in iPhone 4S sales ahead of the iPhone 5 launch to claim the crown.

Unsurprisingly, the firm's latest figures published today find that Apple easily reclaimed the title for the fourth quarter of the year with the iPhone 5 seeing shipments of 27.4 million units for 12.6% of the market.

strategy_analytics_top_phones_4q2012
Not only did the iPhone 5 top the market, but the iPhone 4S also saw more shipments than the Galaxy S III, as shipments of the previous-generation iPhone actually saw an uptick in the fourth quarter after Apple cut pricing.
Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S together accounted for 1 in 5 of all smartphones shipped worldwide in Q4 2012. This was an impressive performance, given the iPhone portfolio’s premium pricing. We estimate Samsung’s Galaxy S3 was the world’s third best-selling smartphone model and it shipped 15.4 million units globally, capturing 7 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Strategy Analytics' numbers are of course an estimate, given that Apple does not break down iPhone sales by model and Samsung does not even release handset shipment data.

The leapfrog game between Apple and Samsung is likely to continue when Samsung launches its new flagship handset, the Galaxy S4, which is expected on March 14.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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19 months ago
Apple is doomed.
Rating: 27 Votes
19 months ago

Now let's compare the combined iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S sales with the combined Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2 sales, shall we? And if that doesn't help, let's also add the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S to the mix.

Are those ridiculous statistics really necessary? By now everybody already knows that Samsung sells more UNITS than Apple while Apple still has a larger profit margin because they only sell devices in the high-end price segment.

And unless Apple all of a sudden also enters the low-end price segment (i.e. smartphones WITHOUT contract for LESS than 99 USD), those figures won't magically change.

I can only assume you read the title and not the post. I thought they meant a combined total when I read the title but the chart and article point out that the 4S and 5 both outsold the S3 individually.


\/\/ Read the post.
Rating: 24 Votes
19 months ago

Ya, my first thoughts in reading the article was that this is not the way to compare things.

Let's just add in more hardware versions until our total sales exceed their single item sales. :rolleyes:


It's blowing my mind how many people are not bothering to read the article before making these snarky comments.
Rating: 22 Votes
19 months ago

If you're going to include 4S and 5, then you should also include S2 and Blaze. This is an unfair comparison - to take just the S3 but to include both 4S and 5.


But both of those will be below the SIII so whats the point?

Do people not understand this chart?? :confused:
Rating: 17 Votes
19 months ago
It's pretty obvious people cannot read.

Many above have already attempted to point it out that they're NOT combining the sales of the 4S and the 5, they're comparing them individually.

Stop. Go back. Re read story.

The S3 wasn't outsold by the combined sales of the 4S and 5...it was outsold by both of them, individually.

The 4S outsold the S3. Do you understand that yet?
The 5 ALSO outsold the S3. Are we understanding yet?

Learn to read, morons.
Rating: 17 Votes
19 months ago
Now let's compare the combined iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S sales with the combined Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2 sales, shall we? And if that doesn't help, let's also add the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S to the mix.

Are those ridiculous statistics really necessary? By now everybody already knows that Samsung sells more UNITS than Apple while Apple still has a larger profit margin because they only sell devices in the high-end price segment.

And unless Apple all of a sudden also enters the low-end price segment (i.e. smartphones WITHOUT contract for LESS than 99 USD), those figures won't magically change.
Rating: 14 Votes
19 months ago

Now let's compare the combined iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S sales with the combined Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2 sales, shall we? And if that doesn't help, let's also add the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S to the mix.

Are those ridiculous statistics really necessary? By now everybody already knows that Samsung sells more UNITS than Apple while Apple still has a larger profit margin because they only sell devices in the high-end price segment.

And unless Apple all of a sudden also enters the low-end price segment (i.e. smartphones WITHOUT contract for LESS than 99 USD), those figures won't magically change.


winni please stop whining, apple ftw brah.
Rating: 12 Votes
19 months ago
4S outsold the SIII in Q4!? Wowzer.

Apple do not need to release a "low cost" phone. Their current business model is perfect.
Rating: 12 Votes
19 months ago

Wow, iPhone 5 sells more units after it is launched, how surprising ;)

iPhone 5 was launched at the end of Q3, so I would be surprised if iPhone 5 sold less than the Samsung Galaxy S III.


Did you read the article? The 4S outsold it as well. Both outsold the S3 individually, not combined.
Rating: 11 Votes
19 months ago

This is exactly right, the SII should be included with the SIII numbers, if the 4s and 5 numbers are being used. The SII was still on sale, I believe, the entire time the sIII was available, and at a lower price, obviously. Some of that 70+ % is the SII, probably 10+%!

Not an android fanboy either, I have an iPhone 5.


You didn't read the article. Both the 4s and 5 independently outsold the S3.
Rating: 10 Votes

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