FORTUNE -- Drilling a little deeper into sales data than the larger tech research firms, Strategy Analytics on Wednesday released the chart at right, which breaks smartphone sales down by model number.
The data show that Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 5 overtook Samsung's Galaxy S3 by some 12 million units in the last quarter of 2012 to become the world's bestselling smartphone.
That's not terribly surprising. What is surprising is that according to Strategy Analytics the iPhone 4S -- discounted by Apple when the new model came out -- also overtook the Galaxy S3.
Meanwhile, in other Apple news, the Financial Times reports that Foxconn, Apple's largest supplier, has put a hold on hiring and is cutting back on iPhone 5 production. Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson offers three possible reasons:
"Yikes. More likely Apple bad news," tweeted Henry Blodget, Carlson's boss, making it clear how he's going to spin the story.
UPDATE: Bloomberg reports: "Foxconn halted recruitment until the end of March after more employees returned from the Chinese New Year break than a year earlier, Bruce Liu, a spokesman for the Taipei-based company, said today in a phone interview. The decision wasn't related to iPhone 5 production, he said, refuting an earlier report in the Financial Times that linked the hiring freeze to a slowdown in orders for the handset." See Apple Falls After iPhone Builder Foxconn Halts Hiring.
Strategy Analytics says yes. iSuppli says no. Samsung, once again, isn't saying.
FORTUNE -- We know how many smartphones Apple (AAPL) sold last quarter: 35,064,000. It's right there in their press release and in their SEC Form 10-Q.
We can only guess how many Samsung sold because although they released their quarterly earnings Friday, the company -- continuing a policy it adopted last year -- no longer shares that kind of information.
For that MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 27, 2012 6:31 AM ET
A pair of reports agree -- more or less -- on the current state of the battle
Two reports published Thursday -- one by IHS iSuppli, the other by Strategy Analytics -- describe the global race for smartphone supremacy as high-stakes see-saw.
Basically what happened is that Apple (AAPL) took the lead from Nokia (NOK) in June, lost it to Samsung in September and won it back in December.
"Apple's introduction of the 4S in the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 27, 2012 2:26 AM ET
Even with 40% fewer unit sales, the iPhone generated 3 times more profit
Apple's (AAPL) reign as the world's No. 1 maker of smartphones, it turns out, was like the life of a grasshopper: It overtook Nokia (NOK) in June and was overtaken by Samsung in September.
Strategy Analytics reported Friday that Samsung either shipped or sold (accounts differ) 27.8 million smartphones last quarter, easily outpacing the 17.07 million iPhones that Apple sold in MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 28, 2011 8:08 AM ET
The iPhone last quarter took in 5.6% of unit sales and 66.3% of the profit
Some readers complained when we ran a similar headline almost a year ago, accompanied by the bottom chart at right.
At the time, Apple (AAPL) had a 3% share of the global mobile phone market but was taking 39% of the profit -- a situation that didn't seem to bode well for its competitors.
Since then, the imbalance MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 30, 2011 7:26 AM ET
The next contender: Samsung, whose Android phones are gaining fast
The companies that track mobile phone sales are just now catching up to the news that came out of Apple's (AAPL) last week. According to the company's Q3 earnings report, Apple sold nearly 20.24 million iPhones last quarter, up 142% from the same quarter last year.
On Thursday, IDC reported that that makes Apple the world's No. 4 manufacturer of all mobile MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 29, 2011 8:06 AM ET
Reports that Apple's iPad lost a big chunk of its market turn out to be premature
[CORRECTION: Samsung's Lee Young-hee was misquoted in the transcript cited by the Wall Street Journal. A tape recording of her remarks show that she was describing the Galaxy Tab's sell out as "quite smooth" not "quite small."]
Judging from Monday morning's tech headlines, Apple's (AAPL) iPad must have got clobbered last quarter.VentureBeat: "Android steals tablet market MORE Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 31, 2011 2:58 PM ET
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