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Samsung Galaxy S3 ships 20 million phones in just 100 days

Samsung's newest flagship device is its fastest selling smart phone to date, hitting the 20 million mark in record time.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 hit 20 million sales today, just 100 days after it was launched here in the UK. This leaves the Korean giant's newest flagship device as its fastest selling smart phone to date, humbling its predecessor, the S2, which took 10 months to reach a similar figure.

"The Galaxy S3 has enjoyed tremendous attention and popularity since its launch in May, and we are thrilled with its success," said Samsung's head of mobile K Shin, in a rather giddy press release.

"I would like to express my sincere appreciation to customers who have chosen the Galaxy S3. We will never stop providing the latest smart mobile technologies to help users live a life extraordinary."

There's been some confusion in the past about what exactly Samsung is referring to when it quotes sales data. A company spokesman told me it's referring to what's known as 'channel sales' -- phones sold to retailers, distributors and the like. But the fact remains that 20 million S3s have left their factories and are out in the world today.

The S3 also became the top-selling phone in the US, beating the iPhone 4S in August, the first full month the S3 was available on all four main US networks. This coincided with a ramp up in interest in the iPhone 5 -- due to be launched next week -- which will have dented Apple's sales.

Samsung launched its flagship smart phone, powered by Google's Android Jelly Bean operating system, in late May here in Europe. This early release date left it with a three-month headstart on new phone announcements by rivals Apple, Nokia and Motorola. With little competition, Samsung has cleaned up.

The Korean company is currently embroiled in all-out legal warfare around the world over whether its mobile devices trampled on Apple's patents. The Californian company recently added the S3 to the "copycat" list in its complaint filed with a US court, attempting to ban the iPhone rival.

What do you think? Is the Galaxy S3 better than the iPhone? Or is everybody simply waiting for 12 September? Unload your commentary in the box below, or scrawl on our Facebook wall.

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