Apple's iPhone 5 overtook Samsung's Galaxy S3 to become the world's best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever.
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Apple's iPhone 5 shipped an estimated 27.4 million units worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012, capturing a 13 per cent share of all smartphones shipped globally.
In addition to the iPhone 5, Apple shipped an estimated 17.4 million iPhone 4S units for 8 per cent smartphone share globally in Q4 2012.
Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: "A rich touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the iPhone 5's success."
Apple's iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S are currently the world's two most popular smartphone models, with the models together accounting for one in five of all smartphones shipped worldwide in Q4 2012
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said: "This was an impressive performance, given the iPhone portfolio's premium pricing."
The company estimated Samsung's Galaxy S3 was the world's third best-selling smartphone model and it shipped 15.4 million units globally, capturing 7 per cent share in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"Samsung's Galaxy S3 has long proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia," Mawston added.
"However, global demand for the Galaxy S3 appears to have peaked and Samsung will surely be keen to introduce its rumoured Galaxy S4 upgrade in the coming weeks to fight back against Apple's popular iPhone range."
See the full report by Strategy Analytics, "Apple iPhone 5 Becomes World's Best-Selling Smartphone Model in Q4 2012"