SAMSUNG’S Galaxy S3 overtook the Apple iPhone 4S in the last quarter to become the world's bestselling smartphone, according to analysts.
Shipments of the Galaxy S3 increased from 5.2 million in the second quarter to 18 million in Q3, while shipments of the iPhone 4S fell from 19.4 million to 16.2 million over the same period, according to analysts Strategy Analytics.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 accounted for 11pc of all smartphones shipped worldwide in the third quarter.
However, Strategy Analytics estimated that Apple also shipped six million iPhone 5 handsets in Q3 and said they expect the iPhone to overtake the Galaxy S3 once again once the fourth quarter numbers are in.
Neil Mawston, of Strategy Analytics, said the S3's success was down to "a large touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies".
He added that iPhone sales had been affected "as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter".
The Galaxy S3 was launched in May and Samsung recently announced that it had sold more than 30 million of the handsets. Its predecessor, the Galaxy S2, took 14 months to sell as many.
Apple has not yet released detailed sales figures for the iPhone 5, which was released in September, but it has said that it sold more than five million in the first three days on sale.
Apple claimed that sales would have been even higher but it was unable to make the handsets fast enough. According to recent reports, Foxconn, one of Apple's suppliers, said the design of the iPhone 5 was making production difficult.
Terry Gou, Foxconn's chairman, said: "We can't really fulfil Apple's requests. Our shipments are insufficient."
Shane Richmond Telegraph.co.uk