According to Reuters, analyst firm Strategy Analytics has determined that during the third quarter of 2012, the Galaxy S III was the world's best-selling smartphone. Now, there is one small caveat that does put a slight damper on this rather big achievement for Samsung, and that's the fact that the iPhone 5 was slated to launch at the end of Q3, which always slows down current-gen iPhone sales. It's also pretty unlikely Samsung will hold onto this title for Q4. The numbers? An estimate of 18 million Galaxy S III's sold in Q3, and 16.2 million iPhone 4S's.


This is still pretty significant for Samsung. In fact, this is the first time ever that a single Android smartphone model has been estimated as the best-selling device in the world for a full calendar quarter. There was little doubt when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S III that this would be the most popular Android smartphone yet, but when Samsung announced it had achieved 30 million S III sales, alongside 3 million Note II's, I think it was then that the impact was fully realized.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Smart_Margret

    .... and the fact that the iPhone5 is having major slow-downs in them even being made. (And FoxConn is PUBLICLY (foolish) admitting how far behind they are getting in even making the iPhone5s.)

    The iPhone is already in 2nd place... soon to be 3rd place, and 4th place.

    Very bad time for Apple and its aging small-screen iPhone5.

  • Billy Kent

    as horrible as the S2 was, went through three of them, I just couldn't go to the S3, I do love my EVO LTE! Have not had one single issue with it. Congrats to Samsung though on their numbers.

    • North Jones

      While I wish I had a nexus 4, my S2 is still going strong and does anything I need it to. I think you may have gotten very unlucky going through 3, I bought a S2 the day it came out and have been using it without a case with no regard for its well being. It currently has nothing but a few almost unnoticeable scratches on the screen as well as some nicks on the corners from repeatedly dropping it on concrete. Perhaps they send refurbished phones as replacements?

    • Alex Murphy

      I love my S2...of course I have a JB Rom on it.

  • Grimlock

    I think that Apple only claim to have manufacturing problems because they are too egotistical to come straight out and say that the iphone 5 isn't doing so well. It's pretty funny that after the iphone 5's release S3 sells increased and note 2 sold 3 million in its first month.

  • Usama Ahmad

    Honestly though, if you think about it, 16.2 million iPhone 4S in a quarter when many people (either directly or through word of mouth) knew that the iPhone 5 was about to be released is a pretty impressive feat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.high.165 Jason High

    Is that the collective sigh of millions of iSheep I hear?

  • bytewise

    For those who say this was because of people waiting for iphone 5, I say have a look at the trends. There was a time when everyone said it's one iphone versus 100s of Android. Now it's just one Android phone besting the iphone. Sure iphone 5 will take the crown again but for how many quarters?

  • Matthew Fry

    And this is exactly why I bought one. I'm sad that I missed out on the Nexus 4 but I know that independent developer support is going to be exceedingly strong for the S3 because of the sheer number of S3s out there.

  • Bleakvision

    I would love to get an iPhone 5 because I am ready for some nice build quality after some two years with a Samsung device.
    But those prices...damn, they lost it completely! The iphone 5 is now 679€ instead of 629€ with the 4S. That is almost exactly twice as much as 16Gb Nexus 4! There is no way i can justify that purchase. Meanwhile the SGS3 can be had for 450€ (all prices unlocked, from best deals sites).

    So, Nexus 4 it is! Thanks Apple, you made my choice really easy.

    • guest

      You do realize samsung isnt the only manufacturer. They've got a rep for not the greatest build quality.

      Pick another manufacturer

      • http://www.facebook.com/vivecuervo7 Isaac Dedini

        I think that's why he's going with the Nexus 4

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I'm not inclined to spend time confirming this right now, but I think calling this a first for an Android phone model might require a footnote. I believe I read that the Galaxy S2 also beat the iPhone in a quarter, but because they gave it different names and had carrier variants, the totals weren't added together.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_BG Dave Bg

    Well it was about time. Now second in the list next month third!

  • Elias

    Hate to piss on your bonfire here guys, but do you realize Samsung is one of the worst Android manufacturers? Flimsy materials, slow updates, TERRIBLE attitude towards the developer community and utter disrespect for GPL licenses - for those two last ones, check out Cyanogenmod's dev for Samsung devices on Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/101093310520661581786/posts/cdPnNjLAb4F . Seriously, they get from fanboys to haters in no time. Samsung also utterly disrespects their customers by pushing broken firmware, such as in the notorious case of Superbrick on many SGSII and SGNote (which I admit has a very nice pen and screen size), where they not only neglected to provide solution and warranty repair to MANY customers, but also actively screwed those trying to fix the issue. I have decided, once and for all, that I'll have no more Android devices which are not Nexuses - and it will be a promise easy to keep, now that Nexuses come with flagship hardware, good prices, the added benefit of timely updates and premium materials (although I'd rather have aluminium, steel or Kevlar instead of fragile glass). I hope Google manages through the Nexus project to end this trend of manufacturers and carriers fucking up the android experience and undermining the platform because of horrendous interfaces, terrible customizations, and especially delayed updates. Next step should be tackling developer's bad practices.

    • Elias

      Wow, guess I digressed a little. Anyway, I stand my point.

    • QikOver

      You don't seem like a very happy person, right?

      Last year these were the same complaints people made about HTC. Motorola was worse, maybe still is.