According to the latest research from StrategyAnalytics’ Handset Country Share Tracker (CST) service, Apple’s iPhone 5 overtook Samsung’s Galaxy S3 to become the worlds best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Strategy Analytics notes in a blog entry, the smartphone model shipping 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 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 factors contributing to 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 worlds two most popular smartphone models, together accounting for 1 in 5 of all smartphones shipped worldwide in Q4 2012. This was an impressive performance, given the iPhone portfolio’s premium pricing. Strategy Analytics estimate that Samsung’s Galaxy S3 was the worlds third best-selling smartphone model, shipping 15.4 million units globally, capturing 7 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Galaxy S3 has long proven 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 Apples popular iPhone range.
 Numbers are rounded. Updated total. The Samsung Galaxy S3 total does not include the S3 Mini, S2, S or any other related models. The iPhone 5 total does not include the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or any other related models. The iPhone 4S total does not include the iPhone 5, iPhone 4 or any other related models.