Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new champion: Samsung's spunky Galaxy S III toppled Apple's iPhone 4S in third-quarter sales, Strategy Analytics reports, seizing the crown to become the world's best-selling smartphone.

The research firm's figures show the Galaxy S III selling 18 million units last quarter, compared to "just" 16.2 iPhone 4S handsets. The Strategy Analytics report comes just days behind news that the Galaxy S III hit the 30 million sold mark after moving more than 10 million phones in just two months. Even still, don't expect the Android reign to be long-lived.

Part of the lull in iPhone 4S sales can no doubt be attributed to the impending release of the iPhone 5, which finally hit the streets in late September and nevertheless managed to sell six million units before the end of the quarter. In fact, if you combine the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 numbers, the iPhone sold more combined units than the Galaxy S III. That doesn't change the fact that the Galaxy S III stands as the single best-selling phone model in the third quarter, but Strategy Analytics expects the balance to shift back in Apple's favor before long.

"We expect the new iPhone 5 to out-ship Samsung’s Galaxy S3 in the coming fourth quarter of 2012 and Apple should soon reclaim the title of the world’s most popular smartphone model," executive director Neil Mawston said in the company's press release.

Samsung, of course, fights the smartphone war on multiple fronts. With the Galaxy S III sitting pretty at the top of the smartphone heap, the new Galaxy Note II moving 3 million units in just 37 days, and Samsung taking a big bite out of Apple's tablet share in recent months, the company seems well-positioned to give Apple a run for its money this holiday shopping season.