Apple iPhone 5 and 4S are the Q4 bestsellers, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S III


Research firm Strategy Analytics finished its fourth quarter global smartphone sales calculations, and, as usual in the last quarter of recent years, Apple's iPhone took the lead.

It was reported before that the handset has been the most popular in terms of sales in the US, but the current report looks at the worldwide market, reaching the same conclusion.

Apple moved more than 27 million iPhone 5 units in the October-December period last year, as you can see in the tablet above, and even the iPhone 4S sold 17+ million, which made it go to second place. Third was Samsung's finest Galaxy S III with more than 15 million pieces sold. Of course, we are a few weeks away from the Galaxy S IV announcement, which might very well mean the tide will turn in the second and third quarter as they did last year. 

"Wash, rinse, repeat" might not be the case in 2013, however, as almost every manufacturer is coming with very strong contenders - the Sony Xperia Z and HTC One come to mind from the flagships announced so far, and MWC is sure to bring more heavyweights in the ring to challenge the Apple-Samsung duopoly, which we can all only benefit from.

Strategy Analytics: Apple iPhone 5 Becomes World's Best-Selling Smartphone Model in Q4 2012

Boston, MA - February 20, 2013 - According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Apple's iPhone 5 overtook Samsung's Galaxy S3 to become the world's best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of 2012. A rich touchscreen, extensive distribution and generous operator subsidies have propelled the iPhone 5 to the top spot.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, "Apple's iPhone 5 smartphone model shipped an estimated 27.4 million units worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012. 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. A rich touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the iPhone 5's success. In addition to the iPhone 5, Apple shipped an estimated 17.4 million iPhone 4S units for 8 percent smartphone share globally in Q4 2012. Apple's iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S are currently the world's two most popular smartphone models."

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "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. Samsung's Galaxy S3 has long proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia. However, global demand for the Galaxy S3 appears to have peaked and Samsung will surely be keen to introduce its rumored Galaxy S4 upgrade in the coming weeks to fight back against Apple's popular iPhone range."

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36 Comments

1. lee480 unregistered

4. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

so now Sony has a patent for Aluminuim unibodoes ?

16. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

HTC, you should've placed the beats audio right at the bottom, then... PERFECT! LOL! I'm sorry this is all about iphone right? LOL

17. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Oh edit. how about the beats logo same as the sony green logo is placed then htc at the bottome?? ROFL!

48. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Since the iPhone 5 was almost outselling the S3 by a 2 to 1 ratio for the latest quarter, it doesn't look good for Sony or HTC. Keep in mind, the carriers were discounting the S3 meaning the iPhone 5 is doing great.

2. hateftotti

Posts: 233; Member since: May 03, 2011

WoW O.o 18+15.4 SIII = 6+27.4 Iphone 5 = 33.4 million for both of them So with these numbers S4 will definitely out sell iphone5s/6

7. edgabimbam unregistered

Emmm iphone5 was released later than s3, so your calculation isnt right, because s3 had more time in Q3 for selling than iphone5

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31624; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

And how will that benefit u? How much will your check be from Samsung? Answer: it wont and 0

27. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

I know I love it when fanboys of companies like apple or samsung( am sure other fanboys would if "there" company sold as much) go on about sales or how well x company is doing etc etc as if its going to make them rich or something...I have the s3 and sure am glad its doing well cause to me it means I made good decision and plenty agree with me.

28. darkkjedii

Posts: 31624; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Cracks me up

32. quakan

Posts: 1419; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

You should just be happy with your purchase. Others buying the same phone as me has never made me feel more validated that I made a good purchase.

33. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

True but as humans sometimes we want validation... I was happy with my s2 s3 even before they sold 10s of millions...for me when I see sales it's more knowing the device is good rather than validation.

40. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

That still sounds like you're looking for validation. YOU decide whether a device is good or not, not how many are sold.

42. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

Like I said we as humans like validation when we buy a new TV we asked people do you like it or if you buy a jacket and ask if its nice that's all asking for validation whether your choice or taste is good

3. MrJerry

Posts: 403; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

Where is L920 which is the best smartphone of 2012? I only guess the article says "others" because the best one of them are not even close to GS3??? lol

5. sun0066

Posts: 282; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

it is not about the best phone but about the most sold, phone is not about build quality anymore it is about lot of things quality, battery, display , specs , memory and ecosystem ( apps ) etc

6. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

yea..its like saying how many cars are sold ...majority goes to toyota..while the best ones like BMW ,Mercs are few

9. MrJerry

Posts: 403; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

lol You are right But bmw n benz cars are f**king expensive whereas nokia is the price of s**t compared to them lol

10. MrJerry

Posts: 403; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

So you meant people keep buying toyota even if they can afford to buy bmw n benz cars with same price.. Then world seems to crazy to u huh? :)

46. SleepingOz unregistered

For much cheaper I would say! But +1 for this wonderful comment! hahah..

13. MrJerry

Posts: 403; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

Yep All you said is right But as long as i know people are always smarter than i thought So i consider most sold = best product If the gap between most sold and others is mere amount, i should consider others as well. But if it is like 100mils vs 5mils, i dont waste of my time Am i too realistic or not a dumb? or Nokia cults just cant accept the truth?

8. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Was there any doubt?

12. GALAXY-STORM

Posts: 328; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

no, why should there be any?

14. MrJerry

Posts: 403; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

There is one thing i realized why many people started hating apple: ifan So you should know that what you are all doing here actually disgraces your beloved apple

11. ilia1986 unregistered

Fool the consumer once - shame on Apple. Fool the consumer twice - shame on them.

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 31624; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

C'mon secret apple fan. U know you're rejoicing lol

25. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Well, why else would he have a lower-case "i" in his name?!

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 31624; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Exactly

19. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Who cares?

20. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

iCare :)

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