Samsung Electronics this morning announced that sales of the company’s Galaxy S III smartphones have topped 20 million units since the phone’s release in late May. The milestone was reached three times faster than sales of an equal number of the Galaxy S and six times faster than sales of the Galaxy S2, which together have total sales of more than 50 million units since the first Galaxy S was sold in 2010.
Sales of the Galaxy S III topped 6 million in Europe, while Asia gobbled up 4.5 million and the United States accounted for 4 million units. The Galaxy S III became the best-selling smartphone in the U.S. in August, topping the iPhone 4S from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). But that milestone is not expected to survive next week’s expected launch of the iPhone 5.
One Apple analyst expects sales of 10 million iPhone 5 devices in the first week of availability. The iPhone 4S sold 4 million units in its first three days of availability, so that estimate is probably not far off the mark.
Apple also has won a jury verdict against Samsung for infringing on Apple’s designs. The verdict did not include the Galaxy S III, but Apple has subsequently sought an injunction against further sales of the Galaxy S III in the U.S. Win or lose, Apple’s action will give potential buyers of the Samsung phone pause.