Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4S has fallen from its perch of being the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. for the first time since its launch in October, with Samsung’s Galaxy S III toppling its bitter rival. Samsung’s Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-powered phone took the top spot in the month of August, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley, as iPhone sales turned soft ahead of the expected launch of the next generation of the device.
Walkley wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday that his checks found that the Galaxy S III was the top selling handset at two of the three major U.S. carriers: Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Sprint (NYSE:S). The iPhone 4S remained the top seller at AT&T (NYSE:T). At Verizon, the iPhone 4S fell to as low as third place, with Motorola’s Razr Maxx taking the second spot.
However, Walkley expects Apple to recover as soon as the new model is out. “We believe this is the first month since the iPhone 4S launched in October 2011 that it was not the top selling smartphone in the U.S. market,” he wrote. “However, our checks indicated strong consumer interest and likely demand for the iPhone 5, and we believe Apple will return to strong number one smartphone share in the U.S. post the iPhone 5 launch.”
Apple is widely expected to announce the sixth-generation iPhone at a rumored media event on September 12. The iPhone maker is trying to get sales of the Galaxy S III blocked in the U.S. and last week added the device to a list of Samsung products it wants banned after winning a high-profile patent litigation battle against its Korean rival last month.
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