Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 4S: Samsung finally beats Apple in sales, but is it relevant?

by: Chris SmithSeptember 4, 2012

The Galaxy S3 is the company’s 2012 flagship smartphone handset, meant to take on the iPhone 4S and, most importantly, the upcoming iPhone 5. Since launching in late May, the device has sold more than 10 million units worldwide, although Samsung is yet to offer specific details on the performance of the handset.

And it looks like the device is getting more and more traction in the U.S. – where it’s available from a variety of mobile operators, from the Big Four to various regional carriers – at the expense of the iPhone 4S.

Analyst Michael Walkley from Canaccord Genuity has conducted a recent research to measure Galaxy S3 sales against its arch-enemy, the iPhone 4S. According to channel checks performed during May-August 2012, the Galaxy S3 has managed to surpass the iPhone 4S with two major carriers: Verizon (in July and August) and Sprint (in August) – Apple’s current high-end model has been the top choice with all three U.S. carriers it’s available from ever since launching back in October 2011.

Now, almost a year after hitting stores, the iPhone 4S is the top choice only with AT&T, where it’s followed by the Galaxy S3, while T-Mobile doesn’t sell the iOS handset – T-Mobile’s top handset is also the Galaxy S3.

Looking at the month of August alone, the spreadsheet above shows that the HTC One X (and its Sprint version, the HTV EVO 4G LTE) are also top-three choices for AT&T and Sprint buyers. Other devices present in the top are the Motorola RAZR MAXX for Verizon – in second position, also displacing the iPhone 4S – and the HTC One S for T-Mobile.

But is the top relevant at this point? Unfortunately it isn’t, as iPhone 4S demand in the region has been gradually dwindling in recent months, with consumers waiting for the iPhone 5 to be unveiled. Once launched, the new iOS smartphone will probably retake its number one place across the board, although the Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5 will certainly be worth watching.

  • 0.8″ larger screen, free OS, removable battery, memory card slot… hey, I think we have a winner already! :-)

  • Just like iphone 4S was almost a renamed iphone 4, Seems that Iphone 5 will be just a bigger iphone 4S…since the iOS6 we all know what it is…that same dumb 2007 OS we are all tired of. If you enjoy buying the same phone again and again, go my guest.

    • Benjamen Meiers

      The iPhone 4Ss?

    • banjoonmyknee

      Except that they’ll be more pent up demand for this since it will likely support 4G LTE service. I think we’ll at least see a few quarters with iPhone back on top, but then it will dwindle again for a while.

      Apple is going to have to reboot its iPhone franchise in a year or so if it wants to stay relevant.

    • While the phone itself hasn’t change much, the iOS actually changes a lot over each year, every year there are hundreds of new API released to developers.
      Plus, they steal a lot from Android as well.
      Just the consumers wouldn’t notice as the interface hasn’t changed much.

      • Oh.. Apple steals of Android do they? Have you been living in a hole for the last month? Who is the one who just got absolutely SLAMMED with a 1.05 BILLION dollar fine for stealing/ripping technology off Apple? hahahahahaha. Oh you poor Android users can’t claim we stole your technology anymore now that there is some cold hard legal and objective truth to shoot you down from your dreamy clouds. =P

        • DZ

          You’re an idiot. The Android OS is owned by Google not Samsung. You clearly have no idea what the lawsuit was about.

          And yes, many of the newer features that you see in iOS already existed for quite some time on Android devices.

        • CookieMobster

          its not the technology that apple won the lawsuit.. its about the rounded-edge icon… lol .. obviously, the juror must have been paid by apple in preparation for the launch of iPhone5.. just to make an entrance but nothing really exciting.

        • And that’s why apple is now being sued for stealing tech? Like the patents for LTE? Apple is the same as it was from the 1st gen as it is on the 6th. Minus the purple camera or that horrid excuse for a maps system.

  • TechGuy

    I agree – I don’t think Apple will be relevant in time to come. Sure the “5” will give Apple a blip buy it’s game over for Apple in the long term. They will survive in some form but will join the ranks of companies like Kodak, Atari, Commodore, Polaroid and IBM.

    • banjoonmyknee

      IBM? You mean the IBM whose stock has outperformed the Dow and the S&P handily this year? The IBM that has a market cap of around 222B? The IBM that Berkshire Hathaway is still buying in large chunks? That IBM?

      I think there’s a pretty huge difference between IBM and the other companies you’ve cited there.

      • TechGuy

        I was illustrating companies who have significantly changed their raison d’etre over the years. Where is the IBM PC these days?

        • banjoonmyknee

          IBM’s raison d’etre was never the PC. It never made a lot of money from them, and the PC never moved into IBM’s main line of business despite the press it got. IBM was always a big hardware company, then it’s raison d’etre become software and services. The PC was more like a hobby.

          I get your point but IBM is still a bad example to put in there.

  • rnk9999

    People want variety, people want choices, and with Apple’s one phone per year strategy with the phone almost being exactly the same year after year they will never be able to hang with vast selection of android devices. There truly is an android for everyone. I phone is only good for the novice user with tiny chick hands lol.

    • yup

      Lol ever heard of a chick drink or girly drink well the iphone is a girls phone its small simple and cuutte

  • Dear Samsung. It is not relevant. Do not get your hopes up prematurely. You have got a long fight ahead of you.

    • They will win in the long run. Apples old and outdated. I agree with an above comment. Its a child’s or girls phone.

  • tBs_Battousai

    Apple have already started to make a move against the S3 to try and further taint the brand…

  • akeconomou

    Well, I just went to buy the Galaxy S3, just to find out that in Singapore they put a SEA (South East Asian) firmware that allows you to use only English, Chinese, Bakasha & Arabic for languages, totally discarding the fact that there are 20% of ex-pats that use other European languages as well. And Samsung’s arrogance was defined by telling me: ‘If you live in Singapore, you should be using English & Chinese. If you don’t like the S3, we have other products that will allow you to use other European languages’. I thought that after Apple’s court win, every sale would count for them …

  • Antoinne

    Indeed, i really dont care about OS’s brands etc.. BUT buying an iphone is just silly, as Bűvész Bence stated its all true. In my country iPhone is dropped at an amazing price of 850euro, hey, what????? with this price i get a branded tablet, mobile phone, and a branded laptop with windows license. Apple just sells status and i dont know how long will this last