Apple's iPhone 5 overtakes Samsung's Galaxy S3 as most popular smartphone

Samsung is betting Galaxy S4 will help it regain top spot

Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5 beat out Samsung's Galaxy S3 as the most popular smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the latest stats from Strategy Analytics.

Apple, which introduced the iPhone 5 in September, shipped an estimated 27.4 million iPhone 5s in the fourth quarter, 13 percent of the total. Samsung's popular Galaxy S3 slipped to third place behind Apple's iPhone 4S model, a surprise for Samsung after its Galaxy S3 led the smartphone market in the third quarter.

Samsung is betting that its Galaxy S4, rumored to be ready on March 14, will help it regain the top spot, according to the research firm. That means the Korean handset maker will not have it ready for the Mobile World Congress taking place next week in Barcelona, Spain.

Strategy Analytics attributed the iPhone 5'S success to a rich touch-screen, extensive distribution network and generous operator subsidies.

Not to be left behind, HTC launched this week its HTC One smartphone to compete with the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3. HTC replaced the icons on the homepage with a personalized stream of news articles, social networking updates, photos and video called BlinkFeed.

The Huffington Post provides an informative side-by-side comparison of the three smartphones. The bottom line: HTC has a ways to go to catch Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market.

For more:
- check out Strategy Analytics' stats
- read The Verge article on the Galaxy S4 rumors
- see HTC's release
- check out the The Huffington Post comparison

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