Samsung Galaxy S III outsells iPhone 4S, takes top spot

The Samsung Galaxy S III outsold Apple’s iPhone 4S in August to become the top-selling smartphone in the U.S.

The flagship phone for Samsung Electronics Co. unseated the iPhone 4S during the first full month it was available on all four of the top U.S. carriers. An analyst’s report said the South Korean company’s Galaxy S III was the top-selling phone for Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile and the second-highest-selling phone for AT&T.;

August marked the first time that the iPhone hasn’t been the king of the smartphones since it was launched in October.

But the Galaxy S III’s time at the top might not last long.

Analysts believe part of the reason for the Galaxy S III’s ascent was the widespread rumors about a new-generation iPhone. That may have led people to hold off on buying the iPhone 4S in August.

“With the iPhone 4S over 10 months old and consumers anticipating the iPhone 5 launch, our August checks indicated weaker iPhone 4S sales at AT&T;/Verizon/Sprint,” the report by Canaccord Genuity says.

At Apple’s latest earnings call in July, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer acknowledged this problem, saying rumors and speculation affected sales of the iPhone 4S.

The Cupertino, Calif., company sent an invitation to reporters Tuesday to a Sept. 12 event in San Francisco at which it is widely expected to announce the new iPhone.

Canaccord Genuity expects the launch of the next iPhone will carry the device back to the top of U.S. sales.

“Our checks indicated strong consumer interest in and likely demand for the iPhone 5,” the report says.

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