Only three Android devices made the '10 best-selling phones of 2021' list

midian182

Posts: 8,303   +103
Staff member
Why it matters: What do you think was the most popular phone worldwide in 2021? If you said it was from Apple, you’d be right. In fact, the five best-sellers were all iPhones on a list dominated by Cupertino. As for the top Android device, it was from Samsung, but not one of its flagships.

Counterpoint Research published its list of the best-selling smartphones of 2021, and it’s good news for Apple. iPhones take up seven of the ten spots on the list, with the iPhone 12 sitting in the number one position, accounting for 2.9% of global sales.

Only two Android makers made it onto the list—Samsung and Xiaomi. The highest non-Apple device was the Samsung Galaxy A12 (2%), an entry-level handset that boasts a 5,000 mAh battery and Infinity-V display.

In addition to features such as a quad-camera setup and fingerprint sensor, the Galaxy A12’s sub-$200 price has made it popular across multiple markets, including North America, Latin America, and Western Europe. It’s expected that the successor, the Galaxy A13 (5G), will continue the line’s popularity.

Sitting beneath the Galaxy A12 are the Xiaomi Redmi 9A (1.9%) and the Xiaomi Redmi 9 in tenth place (1.1%). The phones made up 22% of the brand’s total sales, with China, India, and Asia-Pacific named as the top markets.

There were more than 4,200 smartphone models in the global market in 2021, giving users plenty of choices based on their needs and budgets.

Apple will doubtlessly dominate the chart again this year. The newly announced iPhone SE 2022 may have been given a $30 price increase, taking it to $429.99, but it offers an A15 Bionic SoC, improved battery life, and 5G connectivity, making it an appealing prospect for those who want high-end features on a phone that doesn’t cost close to, or over, $1,000.

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Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
Not a surprise that Apple dominates... I'm more surprised that the Pro Max models sold so well... guess that $1000+ phones aren't just niche items.... Makes me excited for a 14 Pro Max or 15 Pro Max...
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
There are 4 current iPhones on the market, there are XXXX smartphones using Android.
The graph pretty much shows one thing - if people can choose out of a bigger sample size, they will choose what suits them the most.
The thing is... what is the profit margin for Samsung and Xiaomi's 2 most popular devices... I can tell you with near certainty it's not even close to the profit margin on all of Apple's products...

There's a reason Apple is a trillion dollar company.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,248   +4,361
There are 4 current iPhones on the market, there are XXXX smartphones using Android.
The graph pretty much shows one thing - if people can choose out of a bigger sample size, they will choose what suits them the most.

Market segmentation certainly hurts Android but I wonder how much is just Apple's reputation as the more safe brand: both in terms of security and privacy and in terms of knowing what you get and how popular it is. At a certain point, it just builds momentum the bigger Apple gets the more people will just refuse to consider anything else.

If anything looking at that chart it shows that the only reason Samsung is even there is not because of their usual obsession with proving superiority with tech specs: that A12 phone is extremely cheap compared to even the cheapest iphone so it's just about the part of the market Apple still refuses to address of people who can't afford anything above 200 usd. The Xiaomi phones are also both 200 or less so it literally is just the people who would otherwise buy an iphone but can't afford even the cheapest one.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 579   +496
The thing is... what is the profit margin for Samsung and Xiaomi's 2 most popular devices... I can tell you with near certainty it's not even close to the profit margin on all of Apple's products...

There's a reason Apple is a trillion dollar company.
TBH, I could not care less how much profit I am giving to Apple by purchasing their product.
I do not own their stocks, so I could not care if they make 5% or 40% profit margin out of a phone.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 579   +496
Market segmentation certainly hurts Android but I wonder how much is just Apple's reputation as the more safe brand: both in terms of security and privacy and in terms of knowing what you get and how popular it is. At a certain point, it just builds momentum the bigger Apple gets the more people will just refuse to consider anything else.

If anything looking at that chart it shows that the only reason Samsung is even there is not because of their usual obsession with proving superiority with tech specs: that A12 phone is extremely cheap compared to even the cheapest iphone so it's just about the part of the market Apple still refuses to address of people who can't afford anything above 200 usd. The Xiaomi phones are also both 200 or less so it literally is just the people who would otherwise buy an iphone but can't afford even the cheapest one.
A12 is pretty much crap as phones go.
Kinda shows what I wrote before - some (a lot actually) people do not need a €400->€1400 gadget. They simply require a phone for calls, text, browsing and video that even the cheapest phone can do pretty much on par with the €1400 alternative.
Having money and buying expensive phones is not really all that related. I personally do not buy low end or have an issue with expensive gadgets, but I am able to comprehend that for most of the people my personal phone is simply "an unnecessary, expensive toy".
 

Badvok

Posts: 352   +181
"There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics"

Of note in these Statistics is the fact that over 85% of Smartphones sold were NOT Apple.
(Caveat: I'm not certain if there were any Apple models sold in 2021 that are not in that Top 10 list.)
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,261   +1,979
TechSpot Elite
The concept of the "blue texts" that iMessage offers with it's superior messaging service is a major driver.

"User experience" is entirely subjective, and the belief of significant security and privacy gains by using an Apple product simply confirm the masses eat up Apple's marketing campaign.
 

veLa

Posts: 1,175   +850
October of this year will mark 10 years of being an Android user, and even I'm probably going to be switching to the iPhone soon. We all know Android was a worthy challenger early on, but after years of development, it just never seemed to match Apple's level of polish and clearly it never will.
 

ilovelinux

Posts: 55   +157
Would you care to elaborate what was the demographics of the survey?

Otherwise I would assume that 7 out of 10 people in the world are rich. Only America's middle class and homeless people have to make do with android devices.

To hell with your shitty journalism.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
Would you care to elaborate what was the demographics of the survey?

Otherwise I would assume that 7 out of 10 people in the world are rich. Only America's middle class and homeless people have to make do with android devices.

To hell with your shitty journalism.
Maybe do some research to find out? The top 10 devices only make up about 20% of all phones... the other 80% are probably affordable for the "homeless"...
 

NumberSix

Posts: 173   +277
Maybe do some research to find out? The top 10 devices only make up about 20% of all phones... the other 80% are probably affordable for the "homeless"...

My Pixel 6 Pro is in the other 80% and it cost me 949 quid, I am going to stick my neck out and say that's not affordable if you are homeless.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
My Pixel 6 Pro is in the other 80% and it cost me 949 quid, I am going to stick my neck out and say that's not affordable if you are homeless.
Let me amend that... MOST of the rest of the 80% are probably affordable...

Edit: here is the actual data on the report..
 

Fearghast

Posts: 579   +496
Well, what this shows is the amount of snobbery and stupidness, not that the iphones are a good choice.
This "observation" is only visible in this discussion, not really shown on graphs in this article :innocent:
For some people, owning a product with a recognizable logo means they "earned" some sort of social status, I myself would like to believe that my personality consists of more than just "Apple user".
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 823   +1,122
Market segmentation certainly hurts Android but I wonder how much is just Apple's reputation as the more safe brand: both in terms of security and privacy and in terms of knowing what you get and how popular it is.

It's a status symbol, how can people know that I am better than they are if don't see my apple phone, or my BMW, or I tell them about my ski vacation in Aspen. You know Aspen right? You should really go sometime.
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 823   +1,122
My Pixel 6 Pro is in the other 80% and it cost me 949 quid, I am going to stick my neck out and say that's not affordable if you are homeless.
I've owned several pixel phones including my current pixel 4a 5g. They all do the necessities that I need

take pics of the kids that I really share with no one
gets texts from the wife about what to pick up at the store on the way home
read sports & tech web sites
receive calls from concerned companies that my car warranty is about to expire and that I should renew it
 

defaultluser

Posts: 505   +389
Apple makes great hardware with a long support lifetime, but until they remove the locked OS option, 80% of the market thinks it's a bad-investment (myself included!)

 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,982
Apple makes great hardware with a long support lifetime, but until they remove the locked OS option, 80% of the market thinks it's a bad-investment (myself included!)
I suspect that the majority of the 80% who don't choose Apple aren't making the decision based on a "walled OS"... most people don't modify their phones in any significant way...

There are also plenty of people who jailbreak their iPhones...

As for "investment".... it has been long established that Apple products hold their value far longer than any other brand of smartphone - so if you ARE planning on selling your device down the road, Apple is the best investment.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,248   +4,361
It's a status symbol, how can people know that I am better than they are if don't see my apple phone, or my BMW, or I tell them about my ski vacation in Aspen. You know Aspen right? You should really go sometime.
Yep I touched upon this a bit on one of the 3090ti threads: Apple definitively markets tech as if it was luxury goods and not a tech product: Style sells more than substance and they do mostly just lifestyle branding advertising far and above the actual tech specs or functionality.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,366   +3,029
Apple typically wins. I'm not saying they are the BEST phone, but, they are the ONLY Apple
phone. Now, if you COMBINE all the Android phones into one "brand" they would far outsell
Apple. If there were more than one vendor of Apple phones, they would not be the "most"
sold.