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

September 4, 2012
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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.

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