Samsung's Galaxy S III outsells the iPhone 4S

This will be a minor footnote in tech history, but it's a footnote all the same: During the third quarter of 2012, the Samsung Galaxy S III was the world's best-selling smartphone. It even outsold the iPhone 4S.

That's according to a new report from Strategy Analytics, which noted that the S III "captured an impressive 11 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world's best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever."

How did Samsung's flagship phone overtake the venerable iPhone 4S, which placed in the number-two spot for Q3 sales? One argument: Smartphone buyers steered clear of the latter in anticipation of the heavily rumored iPhone 5, which debuted in September.

My argument: the Galaxy S III offers a productivity edge that the iPhone 4S can't quite match.

For starters, the S III sports a comparatively mammoth screen: 4.8 inches to the iPhone's 3.5 inches. That's a huge difference if you're using an app like LogMeIn Free to remotely access your office PC or CamScanner to turn printed documents into PDFs, or you're simply thumb-typing a lengthy email. More screen estate makes for easier viewing and more comfortable typing.

Samsung's phone also features a 4G LTE option, while the iPhone 4S plods along on 3G technology. That extra speed can prove crucial for road warriors, not just for things like downloading large attachments and uploading photos, but also for tasks like the aforementioned remote access. The faster you connect, the better you'll be able to interact with the remote PC.

Finally, like a lot of Android-powered smartphones, the Galaxy S III lets users pop in a memory card for extra storage and swap in a replacement battery when power runs low. The iPhone 4S has a famously closed design, meaning no memory expansion and no battery exchanges.

So, yeah, it's easy to see why the S III topped the charts in Q3. For mobile workers who prize productivity above all else, there are considerable benefits to a phone with a big screen, fast connectivity, and useful expansion options.

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