The end of a year is usually everybody’s favorite time for compiling all sorts of charts and rankings, but when it comes to gadgets it’s often much more interesting to see how everything shapes up when a new year kicks off.

And that’s because the first days or weeks of a year are when you can see who bought what during the holiday season. The first numbers for December 2012 are now in, and, although we expected them to show Android’s supremacy over Apple’s iPhones, they’re definitely way rosier than even Google’s brightest dreams.

The report comes from in UK, a comparison site that has once again crunched live searches, pre-orders and pay monthly sales numbers for our reading pleasure. Here’s the top ten in full:

1. Samsung Galaxy S3 (no change from November)

2. Samsung Galaxy S2 (up two spots)

3. Samsung Galaxy Ace (up three places)

4. Google Nexus 4 (up one place)

5. Apple iPhone 4S (down three places)

6. Apple iPhone 5 (down three places)

7. Nokia Lumia 800 (up four places)

8. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (down one spot)

9. Samsung Galaxy S3 mini (up seven places)

10. Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 (new entry)

Android Apple

So, what’s the first thing you notice after looking over this top ten? You notice Samsung, of course. Which not only has the number one handheld in the ranks and all three December medalists, but six out of all ten most popular smartphones in Great Britain. Wow! Just wow!

And if that’s not impressive enough for you, let’s take the six devices one by one and underline some of their unbelievable records. First up, the Galaxy S3. Android’s crowned king in 2012 has not only been the number one phone in the UK in November and December, but has also won the gold in all six previous monthly competitions.

Then, there’s the S2. An almost two year-old that still has so much fire in it to become – again – the vice-champion, despite iPhone 5’s freshness and 4S’s increasing “affordability”. And how about that petite Galaxy Ace, which is still running Gingerbread and will turn two next month? Or the S3 Mini, which we all thought was going to be an epic fail? And last, but not least, the Ace 2, which nobody expected to make a lot of waves with a pretty underwhelming spec sheet? What can we say, they’re all champions and Samsung must be proud.


As for the Galaxy Note 2, that’s actually the only unpleasant surprise for Sammy. The second-gen phablet was in a very solid seventh place in November, just one month after its release, but somehow slipped during the holidays. The 5.5-incher is pretty luxuriously priced, it’s true, but still, Samsung might have had higher hopes for it.

Meanwhile, Apple has to be wondering what the fudge happened. The iPhone 4S and 5 were number 2 and 3 in November and they looked in good shape to challenge the S3 with Santa’s help. However, they both underperformed big-time, being beaten not only by Samsung’s flagship, but also the S2, Ace and Nexus 4.

And talking about the Nexus 4, that went up one place from November, but you can’t say Google and LG can be too pleased about it. After all, while Play Store availability remained scattered, carriers started to push with the 4.7-incher, so we would have at least expected it to grab the bronze medal.

Any other thoughts on this top ten? Surprised to see so many Samsung devices there? Satisfied with Apple’s slow but steady fall from grace?