These are the most popular smartphones of 2020 (so far)


This year sucks. By any objective metric, more people are having a hard time in 2020 than are not. If you’re not feeling some kind of undue pressure, you probably employ a full-time chef. But, beyond the 2020 suck-factor, folks are still buying smartphones. In large enough numbers to keep the various players happy, it seems.

But there can only be one leader. Unless there’s a perfect tie, and that seems a little statistically unlikely given the volumes smartphones move around in. The most popular smartphone of 2020 to date? That’d be Apple’s iPhone 11, which has shipped more than 19.5 million units in Q1 2020 (Jan to March). It displaces the iPhone XR, which held the same position this time last year with just 13.6 million units shipped. That’s… not a small jump, Apple.

A few surprises

Apple’s position at the top of the leaderboard isn’t all that surprising. But it’s the next few entrants that might lift your eyebrows. Analyst firm Omdia has collected the data and there are very few flagships in the smartphone global shipments for 2020 so far. Four of the spots are held by Apple, with all the other spots held by Samsung and Xiaomi. Huawei, the beleaguered Chinese manufacturer, doesn’t even feature on the list.

Position Smartphone/Units Manufacturer
01 iPhone 11 — 19.5mil Apple
02 Galaxy A51 — 6.8mil Samsung
03 Redmi Note 8 — 6.6mil Xiaomi
04 Redmi Note 8 Pro –6.1mil Xiaomi
05 iPhone XR — 4.7mil Apple
06 iPhone 11 Pro Max — 4.2mil Apple
07 Galaxy A10s — 3.9mil Samsung
08 iPhone 11 Pro — 3.8mil Apple
09 Galaxy S20+ 5G — 3.5mil Samsung
10 Galaxy A30s — 3.4mil Samsung


But if you check the list out, the high-end handsets are all made by Apple, with only one of Samsung’s leaders on the board… at position nine. Samsung does hold the number 2 spot, with its Galaxy A51 smartphone, but Apple’s iPhone 11 almost triples its sales figures.

There’s another way to look at these stats — Apple’s base iPhone 11 has sold more than five times Samsung’s Galaxy S20+ 5G, which is the only Samsung flagship make the global Top 10, according to Omdia’s stats. Xiaomi’s presence on the list is also somewhat of a surprise. Huawei’s absence, though… that’s not all that surprising. The company’s having a hard time.

Another story

Taking a look at 5G handset sales on their own, though, presents a slightly different picture. This market is set to grow in future and, right now, Samsung’s out front. At least, as far as single-handset sales go. The Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G has shipped 3.5 million units so far in 2020. But it’s a two-horse race between Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro 5G/Mate 30 5G and Samsung S20 5G range (the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra all have 5G versions). As more companies jump into the 5G pool, though, expect this fight to change as well. Apple’s got a decent shot at dominating this sector, as soon as it launches a 5G smartphone.


About Author

Brett writes for Stuff's digital platform and edits Stuff's print magazine, in between reading science fiction and every Batman comic he can get his hands on.

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