The Global Best-Selling Phones in History
Over the past decade, the development of smartphones has witnessed the emergence of numerous models that could be etched into the annals of mobile phone history. Some models have even become the stuff of sales legends. Recently, media outlet Visual Capitalist compiled a list of the top-selling phone models in history. Taking a look at this list, it’s clear that domestic producers still have room for improvement.
Ranked at the top is the Nokia 1100, which sold a total of 2.5 billion units throughout its lifespan. Following closely at second place is another version of the Nokia 1100, with a total of 2.48 billion units sold during its lifecycle. Those who lived through that era likely remember the sales miracle created by these two Nokia 1100 models, a feat that truly stands unparalleled.
In third place are the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which together sold 2.22 billion units during their lifespan. This marks the best-selling model in the history of Apple’s iPhone lineup, crafting its own legend within the iPhone legacy as well as within the realm of smartphones. Back then, in order to compete with Android, Tim Cook compromised by releasing two models – one standard and one larger, leading to the widespread popularity of the iPhone 6 series that still resonates with many users today.
Looking further down the list, it’s almost exclusively dominated by iPhone models, with little presence from Nokia. This data is quite staggering, and it’s worth doing the math to tally up the total sales of these popular iPhones, underscoring Apple’s assurance of having over a billion users globally.
If the feature phone era belonged to Nokia, then the smartphone era undoubtedly belongs to Apple. Moreover, this trend continues even now, as there’s hardly any single model that can compete with Apple’s sales. Merely mentioning a model’s total sales within its lifetime easily reaches tens of millions, a height that not even Samsung can match.
Therefore, it’s evident that domestic producers still have work to do in order to create their own legend. We need to find a domestically produced phone model that can achieve the same level of sales as Nokia or Apple within its lifespan. Although our domestic phones have made significant strides, claiming over half of the global market share, it’s undeniable that overall brand influence and consumer recognition still lag behind Samsung and Apple at a global level. This is a reality that we must acknowledge.