Apple's budget iPhone XR was the most popular phone in the world in 2019, figures suggest

Business Insider US
iPhone XR.
  • Apple's iPhone XR was the most-shipped smartphone of 2019, a new report suggests.
  • According to tech-focused market research firm Omdia's Smartphone Model Market Tracker report, 46.3 million iPhone XR units were shipped last year.
  • Apple also took second place on the list, with its iPhone 11 shipping 37.3 million units.
  • Samsung rounded out the top five with its mid-range A-series of smartphones.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider South Africa.

Apple's iPhone XR was the most widely-shipped smartphone of 2019, new figures show.

According to Omdia's Smartphone Model Market Tracker report, 46.3 million iPhone XR units were shipped last year.

Apple also had the second most-shipped model, with the iPhone 11 shipping 37.3 million units.

It likely didn't hurt that both devices are considered Apple's two best-value iPhone models right now.

The iPhone XR was released in October 2018/ The price dropped in late 2019. The iPhone 11, released a year later, had an even lower starter price.

Third, fourth and fifth places on the list were all occupied by Samsung devices, with the Korean firm's Galaxy A10, Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A20 phones shipping 30.3 million, 24.2 million and 19.2 million units respectively. Of the 10 best-selling phones on the list, only one - Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 - wasn't made by either Apple or Samsung.

The report further indicates that shipments of the iPhone XR more than doubled in 2019, up from 23.1 million units the previous year.

A note about the figures: shipment figures don't necessarily equal sales, though they're a good indication of demand. Shipments tend to refer to the number of phone units that have made it to carrier or retail channels. Units sold refers to how many customers actually bought devices.

Samsung and Apple are the world's preeminent smartphone makers, with recent research suggesting they're practically neck-and-neck when it comes to total smartphone sales worldwide.

70.7 million Apple smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to research by Strategy Analytics, while Samsung shipped 68.8 million.

Apple's overall smartphone shipments have declined for two consecutive years, Omdia's report estimated, dropping by 4.6% in 2019.

Apple has sought to build out its software offering to counteract the effect, but still relies heavily on iPhone revenue. The company warned in February that it would be negatively impacted by the novel coronavirus, thanks to store and factory closures in China.

Still, Apple has maintained a bullish stance towards critics who claim the smartphone industry has peaked.

During a December 2019 interview with Nikkei, the tech giant's CEO Tim Cook said he "know[s] of no one who would call a 12-year-old mature," appearing to reference the 12-year period since the first iPhone launched.

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