The iPhone 5 was the number-one selling smartphone worldwide in the last quarter of 2012, according to data from Strategy Analytics, with Samsung’s Galaxy S3 a distant third place in the rankings.
Research conducted by the industry seers found that the sixth-generation iPhone moved some 27.4 million units during the last three months of 2012, while its predecessor the iPhone 4S sealed second spot with 17.4 million sales.
That left Samsung’s current flagship phone to nestle in at third place with 15.4 million units shifted.
The strong showing for Apple meant that iPhones accounted for one in five smartphones shipped in the run up to Christmas.
However, whether the outlook will be as rosy for the tech giant when Strategy Analytics comes to scrutinise sales for the first quarter of 2013 is a lot less certain.
That’s something underscored by the results of uSwitch Tech’s most recent Mobile Tracker analysis of the handsets making all the running in recent weeks.
Collating sales and search data from our network of partner sites, we found the iPhone 5 was only the seventh most popular smartphone in January, with the 4S just clinging on at position 10.
Conversely, the Galaxy S3, low-cost Galaxy Ace and now-pretty-long-in-the-tooth Galaxy S2 were sitting pretty in first, second and third place respectively, in an impressive top-three takedown for Samsung that's adds weight to the notion that it's now Apple's only real competitor.
Either way, expect things to get even more spicy between the two increasingly deadly rivals when Samsung drops the Galaxy S4 on an ever more excitable smartphone sector next month.