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The Samsung Galaxy S3 trumped the iPhone to become the best-selling smartphone worldwide during the last quarter, a report reveals.

According to figures from data dons Strategy Analytics, the S3 shifted a whopping 18 million units during the period from July to September. That’s the best part of two million more than the iPhone 4S, which racked up sales of 16.2 million.

Apple iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S3

The strong showing for Samsung’s flagship kit helped the gadget-maker to total sales of 56.3 million across its entire handset range for the third quarter – more than double Apple’s figure of 26.9 million.

Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics said the findings were indicative of just how “wildly popular” the S3 has been with “consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia”, but warned that the arrival of the iPhone 5 on shop shelves is likely to mean the S3’s stay at the top is likely to be short-lived.

He added: “We expect the new iPhone 5 to out-ship Samsung's Galaxy S3 in the coming fourth quarter.

"Apple should soon reclaim the title of the world's most popular smartphone model.”

However, Apple’s chances of reclaiming its status as top dog could yet be stymied by supply shortages of the iPhone 5, after its manufacturing partner Foxconn admitted that the challenges presented by the phone’s design mean that its is struggling to keep up with demand.

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