The iPhone 5 became the world’s best selling smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2012, beating Samsung’s Galaxy S III, which held the crown prior to the launch of the iPhone 5. Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple sold 27.4 million units while Samsung shipped 15.4 million units of the Galaxy S III. In fact, the Galaxy S III slipped to the third spot as the iPhone 4S claimed the second place with 17.4 million units, buoyed by the price cut after the launch of the iPhone 5.
Samsung is also facing problems similar to the iPhone where demand for its flagship Galaxy S series smartphones plateau after the first two quarters and dips rapidly in the last two quarters preceding the next flagship smartphone announcement. However, unlike Apple, Samsung has a wider portfolio of smartphones across price points and it also regularly slashes prices of its devices, something Apple has resisted doing so far.
The iPhone 5 captured approximately 13 percent of the global smartphone market share in the last quarter of 2012. To make things even more interesting, one in every five smartphones sold in the quarter was either an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 4S. Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S IV on March 14.