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As iPhone 5 looms, Samsung Galaxy S3 reaches 20 million unit shipments in record time

It's hardly a surprise that the iPhone 5 is grabbing all the headlines at the moment, with Apple's all-but-confirmed 12 September launch rapidly approaching and whipping up dedicated fanboys and more casual consumers alike into a state of fruity frenzy.

Consequently, the Samsung Galaxy S3 isn't the hottest handset in the smartphone sphere for the first time since its European launch back in May, though that doesn't mean the Korean tech titan is content to give up its share of the limelight.

Indeed, the Seoul-based company recently announced that its flagship handset has reached another milestone, having now shipped more than 20 million units in just over three months – "the shortest period of time in the history of mobile phones," according to the Samsung blog.

For those keeping score, that averages out at an impressive 200,000 devices being purchased every day.

Its considerable success is thought by many to be rooted in its arrival ahead of other next-gen devices, like those currently being pushed out by the likes of Apple, Nokia, and Motorola.

That, and it's a pretty sexy bit of smartphone kit. In particular, Samsung pointed to the S3's 4.8in HD Super AMOLED display, its swift quad-core processor, and the current-generation Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system as some of the phone's key features that have appealed to consumers.

For what it's worth, our expert mobile analyst gave the phone the ITProPortal seal of approval back in June, when the iPhone 5 was still thought of as a nascent concept, not an imminent market disruptor.

Indeed, despite Samsung's considerable success with the Galaxy S3, the launch achievements of the new Apple handset could be set to eclipse it by some distance.

The iPhone 5 is widely expected to emerge as the best-selling smartphone of all time, with some especially bullish analysts venturing that it could sell 10 million units in its first week. Such a showing, coupled with a solid ongoing performance in the lucrative pre-holiday shopping season, would almost certainly see it breach the 20 million mark in less time than the S3.

Having said that, Samsung is doing all it can to keep its product offering as fresh as possible, most recently unveiling the Galaxy S3 in a new range of clean natural-themed colours.