The iPhone 11 Unseats the iPhone XR as the World’s Most Popular Smartphone

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The iPhone continues to break sales records even in the midst of a global pandemic, with new consumer analytics showing that the iPhone 11 has now risen to dominance as the world’s best selling smartphone.

Under normal circumstances, this probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering that its immediate predecessor, the iPhone XR, also consistently dominated the sales charts last year, so it only stands to reason that the similarly-priced and even better-spec’ed iPhone 11 would eventually take the crown. However, this also highlights the fact that almost two years later no single Android device has even approached the same level of popularity.

The part that does remain a bit more interesting, however, is that this all happened even as the world was dealing with a global health crisis and every Apple Store outside of China was closed. Of course, Apple’s iPhones are available from many other sources such as cellular carriers, and in all fairness it’s likely the subsidized carrier plans that have accounted for most of the sales anyway.

As the iPhone 11 Rises, the XR Falls

New data by consumer market research firm Omdia (shared by MacRumors) estimates that Apple shipped 19.5 million iPhone 11 models during the first quarter of 2020, which it credits to its affordable price tag and its advanced features.

When we last visited Omdia’s research, however, which covered global smartphone sales for the whole year of 2019, the iPhone XR remained in the top spot, with 46.3 million units sold, while the iPhone 11 was in second place at 37.3 million units, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy A10 at 30.3 million.

Apple managed to strike the right balance of pricing and features on the iPhone 11, ensuring the smartphone’s appeal.


At this point, however, with the iPhone 11 now on top, Apple has dropped out of second place, which now goes to Samsung’s Galaxy A51, followed by Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro. The iPhone XR remains on the list, however, trailing in fifth place with 4.7 million units sold.

It’s worth noting, however, that although Samsung’s Galaxy A51 came in second place, it was a distant second, with only 6.8 million units sold, or about a third of the total iPhone 11 unit sales. In fact, Apple sold about as many iPhone 11 units as the next three contenders put together.

In fact, thanks to the dominance of the iPhone 11, Apple’s various iPhone models actually made up more than half of all of the smartphones sold among the top ten. The iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and iPhone 11 Pro had a combined unit sales of 32.2 million, while the collection of Samsung and Xiaomi devices only accounted for 30.3 million units.

For more than five years — even amid shifting conditions in the wireless market and the global economy — one thing has remained consistent in the smartphone business: Apple has taken either the first or second rank in Omdia’s global model shipment ranking.

Jusy Hong, director of smartphone research at Omdia

It’s also noteworthy that the iPhone 8 didn’t make the cut this time around, but these numbers are also from before Apple’s debut of the iPhone SE, which by all reports has been a massive success, and should easily make the top ten this quarter. In fact, it will be interesting to see if the iPhone 11 is still able to hold onto its dominance in the face of the much more affordable iPhone SE.

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