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Apple sales slump ahead of iPhone 5 arrival; Galaxy S3 going strong as Android 4.0 deployment rises.

Apple's iPhone 4S is still the most popular mobile device in the UK with around a 20 per cent market share based on data from June, though its principle competitor Samsung is making rapid gains, according to the latest industry research made public by the Financial Times.

The findings are most obviously a result of the recent success of Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3, which has enjoyed sky-high sales figures since it launched at the end of May.

It is thought that Cupertino's resident tech giant is also experiencing a slowdown in shipments due to its loyal fanbase gearing up for the expected arrival of its latest flagship mobile - dubbed the iPhone 5 (though who knows, it might be the "new iPhone") – in September.

The combination of increased competition and anticipation has understandably cut into Apple's iPhone 4S sales, though it still leads the market in terms of units shipped .

In total, Samsung can boast a greater share of top ten handset sales than its fierce rival. Despite its old-generation devices, like the S2, experiencing a similar sales slump off the back of the S3's explosion, it still enjoys combined sales in excess of 30 per cent of the market.

At least part of Samsung's good fortune can be traced to its employment of Google's popular Android operating systems and the increase in mobiles running current generation version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Recent figures plucked from the Android developers' forum (below) show that distribution of devices powered by ICS or better now stand at 10.9 per cent, though old-gen Gingerbread 2.3 still dominates user base distribution at over 60 per cent.

The recent figures lay bare the extent of the intense rivalry between Samsung and Apple in the global market for mobile smart technology.

While Samsung can take some comfort from the results of the latest study commissioned by the FT, Apple holds the upper hand in the ongoing series of legal battles between the two parties, having benefitted from a series of advantageous court rulings on home turf related to patent infringement lawsuits filed by the Cupertino firm.

The latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.1, was unveiled at last week's Google I/O conference and should further improve Google's grip on the market, and benefit its partners.