iPhones accounted for 1 in 4 smartphones shipped in Q4 2011

Apple beats Samsung in Q4 thanks to iPhone 3GS

Despite the huge success of the iPhone 4S it appears as though Apple was saved, in part, thanks to the efforts of its cheaper iPhone 3GS

According to recent data by Juniper Research the Apple iPhone accounted for an impressive 1 in 4 of all smartphone shipments made in Q4 of 2012, just beating Samsung.

Interestingly however it was not the iPhone 4S which secured Apple victory over its main rival, but was in fact the older cheaper iPhone 3GS. Juniper's Daniel Ashdown believes keeping the older iPhone is a key ingredient to their hold over a wide spread of the market and something which Apple must hold on to.

“The scale of Samsung’s product range is saturating the market. Apple has had to counter Samsung’s products like the Galaxy Ace in order to maintain the visibility of its brand.”

With 470 million smartphones sold worldwide in 2011 and 149 million shipped in Q4 of 2011 it's certainly an impressive feat to be able to claim 1 in 4, something that Apple will be keen to cement for 2012.

Of course the real question will be how Apple copes wity the impending arrival of Samsung's Galaxy S3, with the S2 still proving immensely popular the combination of the two handsets could be a real threat to Apple's dominance.

What do you think, will Apple be able to hold onto the lead in 2012? Let us know what you think via the comments box below...