iPhone 5 Beats Samsung G SIII As Best-Selling Smartphone in Q4 2012!

Apple’s iPhone 5 managed to dislodge the Samsung Galaxy S III as the world’s best-selling smartphone during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to new figures published today by market research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics.

Global shipments of Apple’s flagship smartphone increased from 6 million in the third quarter of 2012 to a much more impressive 27.4 million units in the final three months. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S III slipped from 18 million to 15.4 million units over the same period.

It’s a significant role reversal given that in the third quarter of last year, Apple was using the iPhone 4S to go toe-to-toe with Samsung’s flagship Android handset. At the time the iPhone 4S had shipped 16.2 million units, a figure not too far off the Galaxy S III’s more dominant 18 million units.

Despite the significant growth in iPhone 5 sales, the iPhone 4S actually increased in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 17.4 million units. Combined, these two devices easily outstrip the Galaxy S III with a global market share of  20.6 percent – although it’s arguably not a fair fight due to the complete absence of figures for Samsung’s other devices, such as the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note II.

figures Apple’s iPhone 5 topples the Samsung Galaxy S III to become the best selling smartphone in Q4 2012

Samsung shouldn’t be worried though. The Galaxy S III is still selling very well considering that it launched last May, and has since had to contend with a number of other high-end handsets such as the Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920 and most recently, the BlackBerry Z10.

Rumor has it that Samsung could be launching the successor to the Galaxy S III, most likely called the Galaxy S4, as soon as March 14. If this turns out to be accurate, the power play between these two could shift yet again, giving the South Korean OEM another quarter or two at the top.

It’s a constant back and forth, given that both companies now launch a new flagship device every year and roughly six months apart from one another. Until another OEM – perhaps HTC, BlackBerry or Nokia – can gain anything like the same traction or find a marketing budget to compete with Samsung and Apple, the landscape at the top is unlikely to change anytime soon.

The figures today are mostly in line with the estimates for the fourth quarter of 2012, published by Strategy Analytics earlier this month. It remains to be seen though whether Samsung can regain its crown by growing its smartphone sales by 35 percent this year, which was also predicted by the research firm back in January.

Apple sold a disappointing 5 million iPhone 5 units in three days.

Apple sold a record-breaking 5 million iPhone 5 units in three days — a million or so short of Wall Street’s expectations.

Apple sold a record-breaking 5 million iPhone 5 units over the past three days, the company announced today. The number tops its previous record of 4 million iPhone units sold during opening weekend, which was set last year by the iPhone 4S.

“Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a statement. “While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”

Despite the self-congratulations, sales of the iPhone 5 have fell well short of lofty Wall Street estimates. Apple analyst extraordinaire Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray predicted that Apple would sell 6 million to 10 million iPhone 5 units in its opening weekend. He added that 6 million would count as a “worst-case scenario.”

Apple’s stock price had fallen more nine points, at the time of this writing, to $691.

The iPhone 5 broke the record for first-day sales, clocking in 2 million sales in 24 hours after the device became available for pre-order on September 14. The iPhone 4S set the previous record last year, with more than 1 million units sold in a single day.

The iPhone 5 is currently available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the U.K. Apple also announced today that the handset would become available in 22 countries on Friday, September 28, and 100 countries total by the end of the year.

New features added to the iPhone 5 include a 4-inch display, 4G LTE connectivity, an improved FaceTime camera for video chat, and a thinner and lighter design.

iPhone 5 pre-orders exceed 2 million in first 24 hours!

OK, folks, the official numbers are in, and it looks like it has been another record-shattering launch for Apple. The iPhone 5, which became available for pre-order on September 12, has been pre-ordered more than 2 million times during the first 24 hours.

This is one gigantic number that is more than doubling the success of theiPhone 4S, which was pre-ordered about 1 million times during its first 24 hours of pre-availability. Apple informs that while the majority of iPhone 5 pre-orders will be shipped on September 21, some of them will have to be delayed until October, due to insufficient initial supply.

According to the company, it is the new features like the refined design, bigger, 4″ screen, A6 system chip and iOS 6, which have attracted customers to the new handset.

The iPhone 5 will also be available in Apple stores starting September 21, 8AM local time, for those who couldn’t place a pre-order early, or prefer the live, one-on-one experience with those geniuses.

Will the iPhone 5 outsell Samsung’s Galaxy S III?

Now that we have the official confirmation of Apple’s iPhone eventtaking place at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts next Wednesday, the second part of iMore’sreport mentioning September 21 availability (it’s a Friday) is almost certainly a done deal as well. Which means Apple will get to sell the iPhone 5 (or whatever you think it’s going to be called) for just ten days during the September quarter.

Despite this, resident Apple analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray is convinced that the device will shatter all previous sales records, moving as much as ten million units in its first week of sale, enough to make Samsung’s lead short-lived and re-take the crown of the best-selling smartphone in the United States…

In a note sent to clients today, Munster wrote (via AppleInsider) that Apple could sell a total of between six million and ten million new iPhones in the final week of September, provided the company’s suppliers keep up with pent up demand.

That would result in an 8 percent upside to Wall Street’s current projection of $35 billion in revenue, and 12 percent upside to earnings per share of $8.46.

All told, Munster believes the iPhone 5 will push total iPhone sales in the September quarter to as high as 28 million units, up from market consensus of between 22 million and 23 million units.

Just for comparison, Apple reported sales of four million iPhone 4S units in its first three days of availability last October. Its predecessor, the iPhone 4, sold 1.7 million units in its first three days of availability in June of 2010.

Note that Gene Munster is the same analyst who opined that the next iPhone will mark the biggest consumer electronics launch in the history, likening the device to “the mother of all upgrades”.

At any rate, ten million units of anything in just seven days is a pretty tall order, even for Apple.

Playing to Apple’s favor, the company will likely start to immediately accept pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on September 12, leading up to general availability the following Friday, September 21.

The iPhone 5 should also launch on all major telcos in the United States (AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, with the likely exception of T-Mobile USA) and perhaps a number ofregional carriers that now offer prepaid iPhones.

And if last year’s iPhone 4S introduction is anything to go by, we can expect this year’s iPhone to hit simultaneously both the United States and a bunch of major oversea markets.

Much more than being a top business priority, hitting the ten million milestone is now a matter of honor for Apple.

Why?

This is why.

Because Samsung reported nine million Galaxy S III pre-orders worldwide during the two weeks following its May 3 introduction.

No other phone model was ever able to come close to challenging Apple’s iPhone launch numbers.

The South Korea-based conglomerate later reported ten million shipments in the first 55 days of the S III’s availability, leading up to a total of 50 million smartphones in the June quarter for the Galaxy maker.

And earlier today, another analyst guesstimated based on “channel checks” that the S III surpassed the iPhone 4S in August to become America’s top-selling smartphone. It’s probably the first Apple’s phone was not the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. market.

Yes, it’s a question of honor, indeed.

{Christian}