Samsung Electronics (IW 1000/15) said Sunday that global sales of its flagship Galaxy S III smartphone had topped 30 million since its debut in May.

"The Galaxy S III continues to be a runaway favorite with customers around the world," said JK Shin, head of Samsung's IT and mobile communications division..

The third version of the Galaxy S series offers a more powerful processor that lets users watch video and write emails simultaneously as well as a large 4.8-inch screen.

The company sold 56.3 million smartphones, including its flagship S III, in July-September, representing 31.3% of the global market, more than twice as much as bitter rival Apple's (IW 500/9) share, research firm IDC said last month.

Samsung and  Apple have been embroiled in a long-running patent battle in 10 countries, including the United States and Germany, with the pair accusing each other of stealing designs and technology.

In August Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its Galaxy S smartphones, but a Japanese court later rejected Apple's claim that Samsung stole its technology.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012