Feature Article

November 08, 2012

Number One in Smartphones? It's Not the iPhone 5

In what may be the ultimate shock in the smartphone market, Strategy Analytics earlier today released the results of a market study showing just which smartphone was the number-one selling device in the field. The iPhone 5 was not found at the top, and just who took the number one ranking might be a surprise.

The number one rank, according to the Strategy Analytics study, went to the Samsung Galaxy S3, which earned its rank as the best-selling smartphone on the planet last quarter. The Galaxy S3 sold 18 million units in the last quarter, which surpassed the second-place finisher, the iPhone 4S, by around 1.8 million units total. The sales gave Samsung a nice boost to their July-September numbers, allowing Samsung to post a record-high $7.3 billion in operating profit. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has proven to be popular worldwide, especially in major markets like North America, Asia and Europe. 

Image via www.samsung.com

However, Samsung's success in the July-September quarter isn't likely to be repeated with the closing of the year; the iPhone 5, the launch of which took place too late to throw over Samsung's lead, will likely prove to be the new front-runner for the October-December quarter by a healthy margin.

Naturally, such a move has prompted some to wonder if maybe Apple has some serious competition in the market. The only real contender for Apple's top slot for some time now has been Android devices, so seeing Android devices actually temporarily wrest the top slot in sales away from an Apple product likely proved to be a note of hope for those who believe in the supremacy of Android devices. However, it should be noted that the Galaxy S3 was going up against an older model Apple device which had been in play in the market for about a year, so a new, next-generation device that had a lot of advantages over the previous model in terms of power and features gave it an edge.

However, now that users have had a better chance to see just what Samsung can do, it may be that Samsung can start fighting on equal footing with Apple. Samsung's recent advertising showing users in line for Apple products, while Samsung gear can be had without a long wait, may well have the effect of getting at least some users formerly in Apple's camp to question their decision, wonder why they're still buying iPhones, and instead go over to Samsung in the future.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has already shown it can compete on even ground with Apple, the only question will be whether Samsung can keep that momentum up and lead it to success over Apple.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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