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Samsung Galaxy S3 sells 30 million

Samsung is celebrating selling 30 million Samsung Galaxy S3 smart phones.

Champagne corks are no doubt popping at Samsung Towers, as the Korean company celebrates selling 30 million Samsung Galaxy S3 smart phones.

The S3 first hit shop shelves seven months ago amid a maelstrom of anticipation. 30 million phones -- and a coveted CNET Editors' Choice Award -- later, the S3 has helped Samsung unseat HTC as the leading Android manufacturer, as well as taking the shine off the market-leading iPhone.

The S3 was always going to be a hit, quickly matching the success of its popular predecessor the Samsung Galaxy S2, and emerging from day one as the strongest rival to the iPhone's place at the top of the smart phone pile. And lo, the S3 became the first phone to outsell the iPhone by the end of 2012. 

The S3 has done a lot to boost the current trend for bigger phones, its screen measuring 4.8 inches. That trend looks set to continue this year with an array of slab-sized phones, like the Sony Xperia X that takes a bow as one of the first smart phones of 2013 and brings with it a 5-inch screen.

Speaking of new phones, the storm of expectation that surrounded the S3's launch is starting to build again as the first rumours emerge about the Samsung Galaxy S4. Word on the street already whispers that the S4 could have a 5-inch screen of its own, and may even ditch the S3's home button. Sadly Samsung says we won't get our hands on the phone until May at the earliest.

In the meantime the S3 is still a heck of a phone, and it's been given a new lease of life by a software update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. 

Samsung revealed the S3's sales numbers at CES, the annual technology foodfight currently raging in Las Vegas where it also unveiled the Ativ Odyssey, Samsung's first Windows Phone. Keep it CNET for the coolest gadgets and most powerful kit unleashed at CES, and tell me your thoughts on the S3 and S4 in the comments or on our Facebook page.