Boston-based Strategy Analytics said Thursday that the S3 shipped 18 million units in the third quarter of this year. Apple's iPhone 4S, meanwhile, shipped 16.2 million units, as many people likely held off to buy its successor. Apple launched the iPhone 5 on Sept. 21.
Strategy Analytics' executive director, Neil Mawston, says the Galaxy's top position is likely to be short-lived. The iPhone 5 sold an estimated 6 million units in the third quarter, which ended on Sept. 30.
Apple shares continued their recent decline in morning trading, falling $8.62, less than 2 percent, to $549.38. The stock was over $700 two months ago.