iPhone 5 tops world smartphone sales in Q4 of 2012, says Strategy Analytics

by: Brad WardFebruary 20, 2013

iphone 5 strategy analytics

A survey done by Strategy Analytics says that the iPhone 5 was the best selling smartphone in the US. The iPhone 5 outsold other smartphone’s across the planet too, which made the device top world smartphone sales for Q4 of 2012.

Apple sold an estimated 27.4 million iPhone 5’s dethroning the Galaxy S3, which sold an estimated 15.4 million units globally in the fourth quarter. To add fuel to the fire, Apple sold an estimated 17.4 million iPhone 4S’, which bumped the Galaxy S3 down to third place on the sales charts.

In other words, Apple holds two of the world’s most popular smartphones and owns 20% of the global market. The company may have topped Strategy Analytics’ chart, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot when the company continues to tumble downwards.

Don’t expect much more from Apple to remain on top as we move forward. After all, reports say that the Google Play Store will surpass the Apple App Store in revenue in 2013. Apple is also going to have to contend with the upcoming Galaxy S4 and Motorola’s X-Phone, which we should hear more about during Google’s I/O convention.

Let’s not forget the increasing popularity of Nexus devices either. Apple won’t be keeping its spot for long as more and more people board the ever growing Android ship, which continues to sail upstream.

Show Press Release

Strategy Analytics: Apple iPhone 5 Becomes World’s Best-Selling Smartphone Model in Q4 2012

Boston, MA – February 20, 2013 – According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Apple’s iPhone 5 overtook Samsung’s Galaxy S3 to become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of 2012. A rich touchscreen, extensive distribution and generous operator subsidies have propelled the iPhone 5 to the top spot.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Apple’s iPhone 5 smartphone model shipped an estimated 27.4 million units worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012. The iPhone 5 captured an impressive 13 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever. A rich touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the iPhone 5’s success. In addition to the iPhone 5, Apple shipped an estimated 17.4 million iPhone 4S units for 8 percent smartphone share globally in Q4 2012. Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S are currently the world’s two most popular smartphone models.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S together accounted for 1 in 5 of all smartphones shipped worldwide in Q4 2012. This was an impressive performance, given the iPhone portfolio’s premium pricing. We estimate Samsung’s Galaxy S3 was the world’s third best-selling smartphone model and it shipped 15.4 million units globally, capturing 7 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2012. Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has long proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia. However, global demand for the Galaxy S3 appears to have peaked and Samsung will surely be keen to introduce its rumored Galaxy S4 upgrade in the coming weeks to fight back against Apple’s popular iPhone range.”

  • Kassim

    Just focusing on the numbers and leaving all arbitrary points aside, does anyone else see the positive in that graph?

    I mean, both the i5 and S3 sold an equal amount (33.4 million units) – if that’s not a measure of the fact that Samsung has well and truly caught up to Apple then I don’t know what is…

    • Wow android is still catching up , great news for android .

      • Kassim

        Well, seeing as there wasn’t another one, I would say you’re spot on – I was just accentuating one of the positives from the article.

    • kascollet

      I see the S3 peaking at 18M/quarter and iphone5 reaching 27M. Adding the two quarters doesn’t make sense as i5 was released one week before Q3 ended.

  • If I’m into buying iphone, I would choose Samsung after reading this

  • carlisimo

    “The company may have topped Strategy Analytics’ chart, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot when the company continues to tumble downwards.”

    Or one might argue that falling stock prices don’t mean much when the numbers look like this. One could also look at the numbers and conclude that 3.5″ is still a popular screen size. Certainly there’s some good news for Apple here, at least for this one quarter. On the downside for them, it looks like consumers don’t see the 5 as a major leap forward from the 4S. It’s a sign of that stagnation we keep talking about.

    It’s also interesting that the iPhone5 and Galaxy SIII together account for about 20% of the market, which means low-end phones aren’t quite as dominant as I thought (I thought expensive models – the kind that start at $650 – would account for more like 10% of the market).