Apple's iPhone 4S has been the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. since its release almost a year ago, but with the iPhone 5 just around the corner, it's finally been dethroned.

And it's got to irk Apple just a little bit that the iPhone 4S has been usurped by none other than the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Samsung's recent loss to Apple in a California court, which could cost them upwards of $1 billion, is likely still stinging, so the Korean company must be thankful for the brief reprieve in its misfortune.

But naturally Apple has an ace up its sleeve, and it's a swell coincidence that the Cupertino giant chose today to officially announce the iPhone 5 reveal on Sept. 12.

A numbers game

The iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3 sales figures come from Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley, who checks sales numbers at a variety of retailers on a regular basis.

"We believe this is the first month since the iPhone 4S launched in October 2011 that it was not the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. market," Walkley said in a report.

Walkley said that in contrast to the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S3 sales remained strong.

Meanwhile, HTC, Nokia and RIM phones still can't compete with Samsung and Apple's offerings, according to Walkley.

iPhone 5 in 4, 3, 2, 1..

It seems unlikely that consumers' interest in Apple's wildly popular iPhone 4S has diminished, but rather that the company is simply in a lull as the world awaits the unveiling of the iPhone 5.

Unless Apple's new CEO Tim Cook really doesn't know how to build a phone, the iPhone 5 should pick up right where the iPhone 4S left off and re-assume the top spot with ease.

The iPhone 5 has been rumored for a Sept. 12 reveal for weeks, and Apple confirmed today that there will be a press conference on that date.

The teaser for the announcement says simply "It's almost here. 12," though the shadow cast by that "12" looks conspicuously like a giant "5."

Wonder what that could mean?

Via CNET