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iPhone Named World's Most Popular Smartphone Last Year

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iPhone was the world's most popular smartphone last year, in terms of global shipments, according to research firm IHS Markit.


iPhone 6s took the top spot as the most-shipped smartphone in the world in 2016, trailed by the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus, based on research from IHS Markit's Smartphone Shipment Database, which tracks quarterly shipment data for more than 350 smartphone models.

Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge took the fifth spot, followed by the low-cost Galaxy J3 and several other Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S7. Notably absent was the Galaxy Note7, which was recalled last year due to safety concerns after some units were found to have defective batteries.

Apple's lead over Samsung is impressive given that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were launched in March 2016, around six months prior to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. The mid-range Galaxy J3, Galaxy J5, and Galaxy J7 also preceded the latest iPhone models when they launched in April 2016.


The above chart makes it hard to determine exactly how many shipments each smartphone model had, but it looks like the iPhone 6s was around 60 million, while the Galaxy S7 edge and most other Samsung smartphones are around the 25 million mark. IHS declined our request for specific shipment figures.

An earlier version of the chart had the iPhone 6s Plus labeled twice. IHS Markit has corrected this mistake and sent us the new chart shown above.

Oppo's A53, a popular smartphone in markets such as China and India, was the only smartphone not manufactured by Apple or Samsung to make the list. Huawei, the world's third largest smartphone maker after Samsung and Apple, did not have any of the top ten smartphones shipped last year, IHS said.

Apple's iPhone 6s was similarly declared the world's most-shipped smartphone in the second quarter of 2016 by research firm Strategy Analytics, ahead of the iPhone 7, and if IHS Markit's data is accurate, then Apple's last-generation smartphone remained most popular through to the end of last year.

It is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. Apple does not break out iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis in its quarterly earnings results.

Article Link: iPhone Named World's Most Popular Smartphone Last Year
 
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manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
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So popular the iphone 6s plus is ranked twice ?
The first ranked device should probably be labelled iPhone 6s. It is well known that the non-plus models sell in noticeably higher quantities than the Plus variants (even if this has shifted a bit with the iPhone 7).
 
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GoodWheaties

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2015
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The first ranked device should probably be labelled iPhone 6s. It is well known that the non-plus models sell in noticeably higher quantities than the Plus variants (even if this has shifted a bit with the iPhone 7).
Yeah that seems to be most logical. A bit embarrassing for whoever wrote the article though.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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I find the authors total failure to mention the chart is mislabeled to be odd.

Also the fact that they had a tooltip visible in their screenshot...
 
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mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
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shipping-numbers suddenly important again? ;)
They are with Apple because shipped is sold, unlike with the others. Unlike the knockoffs these aren't sitting around hoping to be purchased.
[doublepost=1490190964][/doublepost]
yeah, that's not a good sign...I liked it better when they focused on the products and not the numbers, but Tim is a numbers guy (sigh) :(
Good thing the 7 is also the best iphone I've ever used, and I've owned every one except the orig.

But yeah keep pushing the bogus narrative that there's nobody at apple on the design teams. Just Cook, all by his lonesome. He sure is lucky these crappy products magically sell themselves!
[doublepost=1490191059][/doublepost]
What about market share? Suddenly that's not important?
It never has been. Profit is the air corporations breathe, not market share. You can't build your company unless you're taking in profit, market share alone means nothing -- that's why all the iknockoffs are nobodys.
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
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What about market share? Suddenly that's not important?

Not if you are on top of the charts regarding profits in the smartphone industry.
Apple could easily broaden its market share by cutting prices, but that would hurt profits so I'm sure they're happy with the status quo
 
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macfacts

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Oct 7, 2012
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I think it is interesting that shipments of s7 and s7 edge were almost same but with iPhones, the older, discounted iphone 6s shipped the most. That doesn't line up with the narrative that iphone users are rich.
 
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Joe Rossignol

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May 12, 2012
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So popular the iphone 6s plus is ranked twice ?

The first ranked device should probably be labelled iPhone 6s. It is well known that the non-plus models sell in noticeably higher quantities than the Plus variants (even if this has shifted a bit with the iPhone 7).

Yeah that seems to be most logical. A bit embarrassing for whoever wrote the article though.

I find the authors total failure to mention the chart is mislabeled to be odd.

Also the fact that they had a tooltip visible in their screenshot...

IHS Markit has corrected this mistake and sent us a new chart which is now shown in the article. Thanks all.
 
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LordVic

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
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I think it is interesting that shipments of s7 and s7 edge were almost same but with iPhones, the older, discounted iphone 6s shipped the most. That doesn't line up with the narrative that iphone users are rich.

Anyone who repeats the narrative that iPhones are for the wealthy and only poor people buy Android are nothing more than ignorant fools or fanboys.

It completely misses the fact that not everyone wants to spend $700+ on a phone and most people could get by and be perfectly happy with a cheaper device. The experience in cheaper devices now have come a long way, that the high end is experiencing a lot of diminishing returns on performance.

It also completely misses the fact that most iPhones sell in regions where phones are heavily subsidized or even on fairly affordable monthly payment plans (like Apple's). Making the entry price a lot more bearable. If you look historically at Apple's succesfull markets, They're all markets in which the iPhone has carrier support with plans and discounts. Remember only a few years back ,Markets like Japan, who didn't have subsidies couldn't sell iPhones. once iPhone started getting carrier subsidies, it started selling.
 
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jezbd1997

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Jul 8, 2015
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The best smartphone ever :-............... iPhone 7 Plus Jet Black
View attachment 693133
......... and not the red one:mad:
I guess that's your opinion.
I even own a 7 in jet black but wish I got the matte black or even in the plus variant. Jet black smudges and scratches so easily. I reckon the new red looks mint, might've been better with a dark front
 
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Flow39

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Sep 7, 2014
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I think it is interesting that shipments of s7 and s7 edge were almost same but with iPhones, the older, discounted iphone 6s shipped the most. That doesn't line up with the narrative that iphone users are rich.
I think it had more to do with the headphone jack + the fact that the 6 was the last phone with 2-year contracts available, so all the iPhone 6 2-year contract people just got out of contract right at the 7, meaning a higher price tag than the $200 of the iPhone 6 on contract.
 
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Nefilim

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Oct 2, 2016
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Anyone who repeats the narrative that iPhones are for the wealthy and only poor people buy Android are nothing more than ignorant fools or fanboys.

It completely misses the fact that not everyone wants to spend $700+ on a phone and most people could get by and be perfectly happy with a cheaper device. The experience in cheaper devices now have come a long way, that the high end is experiencing a lot of diminishing returns on performance.

It also completely misses the fact that most iPhones sell in regions where phones are heavily subsidized or even on fairly affordable monthly payment plans (like Apple's). Making the entry price a lot more bearable. If you look historically at Apple's succesfull markets, They're all markets in which the iPhone has carrier support with plans and discounts. Remember only a few years back ,Markets like Japan, who didn't have subsidies couldn't sell iPhones. once iPhone started getting carrier subsidies, it started selling.

In those markets, are other phones available with subsidies too?
 
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Derekuda

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2004
317
1,034
"Popular" is a relative term. I'd say Android with its 90%+ market share is more popular.

EDIT: Oh wait, we are talking about the physical phone, not the OS. Well yeah, i guess that makes sense.
 
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