The Apple iPhone is no longer the top smartphone

Proof that Apple is losing its self declared thermonuclear war against Samsung came to day in the form of the news that it no longer makes the world’s best selling smartphone.

Beancounters at Strategy Analytics finds that Samsung’s Galaxy S III was the world’s top-selling smartphone model in the third quarter this year.

Samsung announced earlier this week that cumulative Galaxy S III channel sales reached the 30 million units.

Strategy Analytics said that 18 million of those were shipped in Q3 2012. During the same period, Apple shipped only 16.2 million iPhone 4S handsets and thus became a number two.

Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Shah said that the Galaxy S3 captured an impressive 11 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time.

The large touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been cited as the main cause of the Galaxy S3’s success.

Strategy Analytics claims that the Galaxy S3 will probably be knocked off the top slot by the iPhone 5 in the coming fourth quarter of 2012.

Of course it may not. Apple is having difficulty getting enough iPhone 5s out of Foxconn to meet demand. The iPhone 5, which ships with mapping software which does not work, and its SIRI search system which is not particularly effective outside of the US, may not do as well as Strategy Analytics might think.