iPhone 12 dominated early smartphone sales in 2021

The iPhone 12 range dominated smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2021.

This is according to data from research firm Counterpoint, which revealed Apple beat out its biggest rivals both in terms of shipment volumes and revenue.

Global smartphone revenue passed $100 billion for the first time in a first quarter, driven largely by flagship smartphone sales.

The top-grossing smartphone in the first quarter was the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which claimed 12% of the revenue share.

It was followed by the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, with 11% and 9%, respectively.

Despite not performing nearly as well as its bigger brothers, the iPhone 12 Mini still managed to place 6th, with 2% of the revenue share.

This means the iPhone 12 series accounted for around 34% of smartphone sales revenue – more than a third of the market.

2019’s iPhone 11 also claimed 4th spot, while the iPhone SE 2020 was the 10th top-grossing smartphone.

The next solid performer was Samsung, with its latest flagship – the Galaxy S21 – claiming three spots in the top 10.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra was the 5th highest-grossing smartphone, while the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus placed 7th and 9th, respectively.

Rounding out the top 10 was the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, with 2% of the revenue share putting in the 8th spot.

Notably, eight of the 10 top-grossing smartphones were 5G capable, with the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE 2020 being the only exceptions.

“5G has now become a standard offering in the premium segment,” Counterpoint stated.

iPhone 12 box

The top 10 models captured close to 46% of global smartphone revenues, illustrating the high value of the premium segment.

Altogether, premium smartphones priced at more than $400 contributed to 65% of global smartphone revenues in the first quarter.

“The importance of the premium segment in terms of revenue contribution is one of the reasons many Chinese OEMs, like OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi, are eyeing it,” said Counterpoint.

“Entering the premium segment also unlocks access to consumers who potentially have a higher lifetime value,” the firm added.

Biggest sales

Apple also outperformed its rivals in terms of sales volumes, an area where affordable smartphones tend to perform better.

The top-selling model in the first three months of 2021 was the iPhone 12, which claimed 5% of the market share.

It was followed by the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro, with 4% and 3%, respectively. The iPhone 11, which was released more than 20 months ago, placed 4th with 2% of the market share.

Xiaomi followed with the Redmi 9A and Redmi 9 in 5th and 6th place, while the Redmi Note 9 claimed the 8th spot.

Samsung’s budget Galaxy A12, Galaxy A21S, and Galaxy A31 were its best sellers, each claiming 1% of the volume share.

The image below shows the top 10 smartphones in Q1 2021 by sales volume and revenue share, according to the Counterpoint Research Global Handset Model Tracker.


Now read: When colour is the deciding factor – Why the iPhone beats Samsung and Huawei

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iPhone 12 dominated early smartphone sales in 2021