Despite rumored of declining demand, Apple’s iPhone 5 is the No.1 smartphone in the world

iPhone 5 Sales Q4 2012

An unexpected decline in demand for Apple’s (AAPL) latest iPhone model was one of many rumors floated by analysts in the fourth quarter as big hedge funds dumped Apple shares for billions in profit. Apple’s stock plummeted 30% during the sell-off, but speculation surrounding iPhone 5 sales was way off base according to a new report. Market research firm Strategy Analytics on Wednesday issued a report suggesting Apple’s iPhone 5 overtook the Samsung (005930) Galaxy S III by a wide margin in the fourth quarter to become the best-selling smartphone in the world.

Apple’s iPhone 5 smartphone model shipped an estimated 27.4 million units worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012,” Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Shah said. “The iPhone 5 captured an impressive 13 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever.”

The firm estimates that Apple shipped an additional 17.4 million iPhone 4S models in the fourth quarter, representing 8% of total global smartphone shipments.

Strategy Analytics says Samsung shipped 15.4 million Galaxy S III handsets during the holiday quarter, down from 18 million in the third quarter when the phone held the No.1 spot in global shipments.

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