iPhone 5 Sales in Q4 Reinstated Apple as Top Smartphone Maker
The Samsung Galaxy S III was the best-selling smartphone in Q3. But during Q4 2012, the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S each outsold the Galaxy S III.The Apple iPhone 5 became the world's best-selling smartphone worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012—a distinction that Samsung's Galaxy S III held during the third quarter. Apple not only outsold Samsung's most popular Galaxy device with the iPhone 5, but it did it with the iPhone 4S, as well, research firm Strategy Analytics reported Feb. 20. Apple shipped 27.4 million iPhone 5 smartphones during the quarter and 17.4 million iPhone 4S models, compared with Samsung's 15.4 million Galaxy S III devices, according to Strategy Analytics. The iPhone 5 garnered 13 percent of the global smartphone market, and the iPhone 4S had 8 percent of the market. Together, the iPhones accounted for one in five of the smartphones that shipped worldwide during the quarter, Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics' executive director, said in a blog post. "A rich touch-screen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the iPhone 5's success," wrote Mawston. He added that, given the iPhone portfolio's "premium pricing," Apple's was "an impressive performance."
Samsung introduced the S III in May 2012, and during the third quarter it became the top-selling smartphone, knocking Apple from a position it had held for more than two years. At the time, Strategy Analytics estimated that Samsung had sold 18 million Galaxy S III smartphones to Apple's 16.2 million iPhone 4S devices and 6 million units of the recently introduced iPhone 5, but also that Samsung's victory was likely to be "short-lived."