Report: The iPhone 11 is now the world’s most popular smartphone

The iPhone XR has held the crown of being the world’s most popular smartphone for awhile. And now, its natural successor the iPhone 11 has taken that particular plaudit. In a new report by Omdia, 19.5 million units of the iPhone 11 was shipped during Q1 2020 (January–March), making this the top-selling smartphone in the world during this time.

This is a fairly remarkable feat, given the severe economic downturn caused by COVID-19. The company’s iPhone 11 was always supposed to be the smartphone for the masses (or at least, among the iPhone lineup), but its performance despite the current climate has been impressive:

“Despite the devastating impact of coronavirus on consumer demand, Apple’s iPhone 11 shipments in the first quarter of 2020 exceeded its total for iPhone XR shipments during the first quarter of 2019 by nearly 6 million units.”

In fact, the iPhone 11 dominated the rankings for global smartphone shipments, with more than double the shipments that the second-placed Samsung Galaxy A51 recorded. If you have a look at the table (pictured below), it’s pretty clear that the best selling smartphones are all mainly from the mid-range segment, with Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro pairing ranking third and fourth respectively, and the iPhone XR still going strong at number five.


According to the director of smartphone research at Omdia, the iPhone 11’s success is down to the the relatively low number of models that are available from the Cupertino-based company. In the current generation of iPhones, there are three models available: the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. This strategy basically allows engineers to narrow its focus on a few products to “appeal to a broad selection of consumers and sell in extremely high volumes”.

The slight price reduction for the iPhone 11 also plays a part, the report infers. Despite this, the iPhone 11 is still a significant upgrade over the iPhone XR—perhaps most notably, the processor is an upgraded A13 Bionic chipset, and you also get an ultra-wide angle shooter as part of a rear dual-camera setup.

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Something else to consider is that the iPhone 11 is currently the most affordable smartphone (in the current generation) that is a part of the Apple ecosystem, which might explain the high number of shipments. This line of reasoning could also mean that the next report—Q2 2020—could see a strong performance from the new iPhone SE.

The report also talks about 5G-enabled smartphones, with the top 5 rankings dominated by Samsung and Huawei. The range-topping Galaxy S20+ 5G takes the top spot, followed by the Huawei Mate 30 5G and the Mate 30 Pro 5G. As more smartphone manufacturers continue to develop 5G devices, we could see more affordable, mid-range smartphones start to challenge for these spots in the months/years to come.

If you’re keen to know more, you can read the full report here.