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Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III may have displaced the iPhone 4S to become the best-selling smartphone in the world for Q3 2012, but if you combine sales of the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S together, the Cupertino’s iconic device just comes out on top.

The Galaxy smartphone series from Samsung is easily the most popular on Android, and although fans of Google’s mobile OS do like to get excited about the prospect of a Nexus product, it’s the Galaxy that always gets consumers putting their hands into their pockets. The Galaxy S III sold in colossal amounts, with 18 million units shipped in the July-September quarter according to figures calculated by numbers firm Strategy Analytics.

11. GALAXY S III_AllShare Cast_W

Meanwhile, the iPhone 4S managed 16.2 million units of the iPhone 4S, but when you consider the age of the device against the Samsung offering, Apple can be more than impressed with those figures. Moreover, if you factor in the total number of early iPhone 5 sales, the two Apple smartphones actually finish comfortably ahead of their Korean rival’s, with a sum total of 22.2 million units shipped in that same three month period.

To sell 16+ million of any device is no mean feat, but for an eight month old smartphone, it’s no mean feat. The Galaxy S series is the only Android line to have tested the dominance of the iPhone since 2007, and with different colors and variants releasing all the time, it’ll likely sell in excess of the Q3 numbers this quarter – what with the impending holiday season.

Combined, the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III make up nearly a quarter of the global smartphone market, which is an astonishing statistic, and with both embroiled in a continual courtroom slog, it will be interesting to see which of the two titans comes out on top next time around.

Strategy Analytics’ executive director Neil Mawston seems confident Apple will soon reclaim the number one spot, and it would appear the only reason Samsung topped the iPhone 4S was due to its successor being just around the corner. Whenever consumers get a sniff of an upgraded smartphone, they tend to hold off purchasing the older model, and once the iPhone 5′s availability reaches a level of normality, expect it to reign supreme once again.

(via SlashGear)

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