A slump in iPhone 4S shipments let the Samsung Galaxy S III leapfrog over Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to claim the top spot in smartphone sales during the third quarter.
Industry research firm Strategy Analytics announced on Thursday that Samsung shipped 18 million Galaxy S III phones last quarter, compared to 16.2 million iPhone 4S units. That made the Galaxy S III, which runs on Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, the world’s best-selling smartphone for the quarter, BGR noted.
Sales of the iPhone 4S were likely dampened by consumers who held off purchases awaiting the launch of Apple’s next generation iPhone 5 in September. The newest iPhone hit store shelves on September 21. Strategy Analytics said Apple sold 6 million iPhone 5′s during the third quarter.
Soaring iPhone 5 sales are expected to quickly dethrone the Galaxy S III as the world’s best selling smartphone in the current quarter, analysts noted.
However, there have been persistent rumors of production problems with the iPhone 5. On Wednesday, the chairman of Foxconn, Apple’s major manufacturing partner, admitted that his company had been unable to meet demand for the new iPhone, which was proving difficult to build.
Shares of Apple slipped almost 2% in Thursday morning trading.