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New data shows how Apple’s iPhone dominated Android in 2021

Published Mar 8th, 2022 6:25PM EST
An iPhone 13 Pro on a table next to Apple AirPods
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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New data from the market research company Counterpoint shows how totally dominant the iPhone was last year. According to the company’s sales tracker, Apple made seven of the ten best-selling phones worldwide in 2021. In fact, the entire top five consists of iPhone models. Xiaomi and Samsung managed to sneak in later on the list, but it is clear that most Android phones didn’t stand a chance of toppling the iPhone in 2021.

iPhone outsold Android rivals globally in 2021

Samsung's Galaxy A12 was one of the best-selling phones of 2021.
Samsung’s Galaxy A12 was one of the best-selling phones of 2021. Image source: Samsung

Counterpoint’s data shows that the global top five best-selling smartphones of 2021 were the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 11.

As for the rest of the list, coming in at number six is the Galaxy A12. This means Samsung’s most popular phone of the year was a budget device. And right behind it in seventh place is Xiaomi’s Redmi 9A, which retails for even less than the A12. Apple returns for the eighth and ninth spots with the 2020 iPhone SE and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Finally, Xiaomi manages to get a second phone on the list with the Redmi 9 in tenth place.

It’s worth noting that the iPhone 13 wasn’t available until September 24th. Nevertheless, it still managed to climb into third place for the year ahead of countless phones that were on sale all year. Unsurprisingly, these are Apple’s best results to date.

Other interesting details

Counterpoint states that there were over 4,200 active smartphone models on the market in 2021. With that in mind, the fact that the five best-selling iPhones accounted for more than 11% of global smartphone sales is even more impressive.

Counterpoint also notes that the Galaxy A12 was a big international hit. Its top markets were North America, Latin America, and Western Europe. When consumers were looking to buy an entry-level Android instead of an iPhone in 2021, they turned to the A12.

iPhone vs. Android: Which should you buy?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question. But there are some other questions you can ask yourself that should make the decision easier.

Do you use any other Apple devices, like a MacBook, an iPad, or AirPods? If so, any of those devices are going to play much nicer with an iPhone than any Android. For example, AirPods Pro are still among the best wireless earbuds on the market for any device, but you’re going to miss out on some key features if you try to use them with Android devices.

On the other hand, if price is the biggest concern, even the most affordable iPhone is always significantly more expensive than an entry-level Android phone. Samsung is currently selling the Galaxy A12 for $104.99 on its website. Meanwhile, Apple’s new third-generation iPhone SE that debuted at the Peek Performance event on Tuesday starts at $429.

There’s clearly a reason that the iPhone continues to top the charts every year. We extolled the greatness of the iPhone 13 Pro in our review late last year. But not everyone wants an iPhone, and lucky for them, there are about 4,000 other options out there.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.