Samsung’s Galaxy S III took the iPhone’s crown as king of the smartphones in the third quarter, according to fresh data from Strategy Analytics. The Galaxy S III claimed a 10.7 percent market share with 18 million sold, while the iPhone 4S saw 16.2 million units sell to earn a market share of 9.7 percent.
It’s easy to read too much into this news, of course, as the iPhone competes against every other smartphone on the planet. Samsung has done a great job of marketing its new line of smartphones with those snarky ads of users standing line to buy an iPhone, and Samsung’s streamlined portfolio and tightly controlled supply chain are pages right out of Apple’s playbook, as my colleague Kevin Tofel noted today.
But it’s also worth noting that the Galaxy S III is the latest in Samsung’s line of oversized devices that begin to bridge the gap between tablets and smartphones. That’s a market that didn’t exist until recently, and Samsung has effectively differentiated these new phones with the iPhone based on size. I think the same opportunity exists in the tablet market, where a device bigger than an iPad could appeal to families where multiple people use the tablet for gaming and watching video.