21 Best Selling Phones of All Time

In this article, we take a look at the 21 Best Selling Phones of All Time. For more such phones, go to 5 Best Selling Phones of All Time.

The cellphone industry has witnessed rapid growth over the past few years, with an increasing number of players entering the market and introducing innovative features. With cell phones becoming an indispensable part of our lives, it is no surprise that the industry is projected to continue its growth trajectory.  

According to a report by Market Research Future, the global smartphone market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.80% from 2022 to 2030, driven by factors such as the increasing demand for high-speed internet connectivity, rising disposable incomes, and the growing trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in workplaces. The mobile phone industry is dominated by a few key players, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung, Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK), Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo. 

These companies are known for their cutting-edge technology, sleek designs, and innovative features. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), with its iPhone series, has been a market leader for several years, followed closely by Samsung, which offers a wide range of smartphones catering to different price points.  

Industry Outlook   

The market outlook for the mobile-phones industry remains positive, with a steady demand for smartphones worldwide. As noted by Statista, global smartphone shipments are projected to grow to 1.4 billion units in 2022, from 1.36 billion in 2021. The demand for 5G smartphones is expected to increase, with 5G smartphone shipments expected to reach 1.15 billion units in 2023, up from 610 million units in 2021, as per Counterpoint Research.  

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung continue to dominate the global smartphone market, with a combined market share of over 50% in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to IDC. The competition between these two players is expected to intensify in the coming years with the introduction of new features and technologies.  

Moreover, the affordability of cellphones is also a major driver of growth, especially in emerging markets. Xiaomi, Realme, and Oppo have become popular brands in these markets with their budget-friendly smartphones. According to Counterpoint Research, Xiaomi was the third-largest smartphone brand globally in Q3 2021, with a market share of 13%.  

In terms of operating systems, Android, by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), is the biggest player in the market, with its software running on more than 3 billion devices across the world. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is also represented in smartphone market through its Pixel line of phones. According to Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai, Pixel 6a, 7 and 7 Pro are the best selling Google phones.

Overall, the demand for smartphones is expected to continue growing, with manufacturers focusing on introducing new and innovative features to keep up with the competition.  


The mobile phone industry is characterised by rapidly evolving trends, driven by consumer demand and technological advancements. Some of the key trends that are currently shaping the industry include:  

  1. 5G Connectivity: With the rollout of 5G networks, smartphones that support 5G connectivity are becoming increasingly popular.  
  1. Foldable Displays: Several smartphone manufacturers are experimenting with foldable displays, offering users a unique and immersive experience.  
  1. AI-based Features: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being increasingly integrated into smartphones, allowing for features such as voice recognition, facial recognition, and augmented reality.  

Phases of the Mobile Phone Industry  

The mobile phone industry has gone through several phases, each marked by significant technological advancements and market trends. These phases can be broadly categorised into four stages:  

  1. The First Generation (1G): The first commercial cellular network was launched in Japan in 1979, marking the beginning of the 1G era. This phase saw the emergence of the first cellular networks, allowing for mobile communication.  
  1. The Second Generation (2G): The first 2G cellular network was introduced in 1991 by Radiolinja in Finland. This phase saw the introduction of digital networks, leading to improved call quality and reduced costs.  
  1. The Third Generation (3G) : The first 3G network was launched in Japan, offering data speeds up to 2 Mbps.  
  1. The Fourth Generation (4G): The global adoption of 4G networks began in 2009, with the launch of the first commercial 4G network in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway. This phase saw the introduction of high-speed data services, leading to the development of advanced mobile applications and services.  

As of 2021, 5G networks are being rolled out in many countries worldwide, offering even faster data speeds and improved connectivity. The mobile phone industry has experienced explosive growth over the years, with an estimated 6.8 billion mobile network subscriptions worldwide as of 2023.

21 Best Selling Phones of All Time

Our Methodology  

We have ranked the top 21 best selling cell phones of all time in ascending order based on the number of cellphones sold, for which the data is publicly available.  

To acquire a deeper understanding of the global smartphone market, we gathered data for our research from several reliable sources, including specific reports for each cell phone and rating studies by International Data Corporation (IDC) and CounterPoint Research. We have also used data from the Mobile Vendor Market Share report for the global market share of best-selling cell phones of all time.  

Here is our list of the 21 best-selling cell phones of all time.   

21. Nokia 1280

Units Sold: 100 million 

The Nokia 1280, by Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK), was a basic mobile phone released in 2010 and was a popular device, selling 100 million units worldwide. It was designed as an affordable and reliable phone for users who needed basic features such as calling and texting. The Nokia 1280’s lengthy battery life was one of its most intriguing qualities. The phone was a popular option for those who required a phone with a long-lasting battery because it could last up to 22 days on standby and up to 8.5 hours of talk time on a single charge.

20. iPhone 12 Series

Units Sold: 100 million (estimated) 

The iPhone 12 was released in 2020 and quickly became a popular device that sold over 100 million units worldwide. It features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with a resolution of 2532×1170 pixels, providing users with a stunning viewing experience. It also features a ceramic shield front cover, which is thought to be the toughest glass on any smartphone, making it resistant to scratches and drops. The device is powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, which is one of the fastest smartphone chips in the market, providing users with fast and efficient performance. 

It also features 5G connectivity, which provides users with faster download and upload speeds, a dual camera system enabling users to capture stunning photos and videos. In terms of security, the iPhone 12 features Face ID, which uses facial recognition technology to unlock the device and authenticate purchases and logins. It also features iOS 14, which provides users with a range of features such as App Library, Widgets, and Picture in Picture mode.

19. iPhone 8 And 8 Plus

Units Sold: 124.7 million  

Apple’s iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were launched in 2017 and sold over 124.7 million units globally. The iPhone 8 featured wireless charging, an improved camera and processor, and a glass-back design. The iPhone 8 Plus also introduced a dual-camera system. In addition to its features, the iPhone 8 also had an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, making it more durable and resistant to damage from environmental factors. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were also among the first phones to support Augmented Reality (AR) apps and games, which became increasingly popular in the years that followed. 

18. Nokia 3310 

Units Sold: 126 million  

Another fan-favorite phone by Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) – Nokia 3310 – was launched in 2000. It was a simple phone with basic features. In addition to that, the Nokia 3310 was highly regarded for its robust and reliable build quality. Its battery life was also exceptional, with many users able to go several days or even weeks without needing to recharge the device. 

There are varying estimates for the total number of Nokia 3310 phones sold, but it’s widely believed to be around 126 million units globally. The Nokia 3310’s popularity and enduring legacy are evident in the fact that HMD Global, the company that now owns the Nokia brand, has released modern versions of the phone, including the Nokia 3310 (2017) and Nokia 5310 (2020).

17. Nokia 1600

Units Sold: 130 million 

The Nokia 1600 was a simple mobile phone that debuted in 2006 and was a huge success, selling 130 million units globally. It featured a small 1.4-inch monochrome display with a resolution of 96×68 pixels and a long battery life. The Nokia 1600 was a straightforward and useful mobile phone made for people that valued dependability and practicality over cutting-edge capabilities.

16. Motorola RAZR V3

Units Sold: 130 million  

Over 130 million units of the Motorola RAZR V3 were sold worldwide since its introduction in 2004. It had a colour screen and a slim, fashionable flip phone made of aluminium. The Motorola RAZR V3 was renowned for its sophisticated features including Bluetooth connectivity and a camera in addition to its svelte form.

15. Nokia 2600

Units Sold: 135 million  

The Nokia 2600 was launched in 2004 and also had a small 128 x 128-pixel colour display, and its compact size made it easy to carry around. It was an affordable option for consumers who were looking for a reliable and straightforward mobile phone without any complicated features. Its sturdy build quality made it resistant to wear and tear, and its long battery life ensured that users could stay connected for extended periods. The Nokia 2600 was a highly popular device, particularly in developing markets where there was a strong demand for affordable and reliable mobile phones.

14. Samsung E1100

Units Sold: 150 million 

The Samsung E1100 was released in 2009 and was a very popular device. It featured a small 1.52-inch colour display with a resolution of 128×128 pixels. It had a compact and lightweight design and was built to withstand rough handling and harsh environments. The device had a long battery life, with a standby time of up to 450 hours and a talk time of up to 8 hours. It also had a built-in flashlight, which was a useful feature for users in areas with poor lighting. 

In terms of connectivity, the Samsung E1100 supported 2G GSM networks and had no internet connectivity. It had a basic polyphonic ringtone, and users could personalise it with their own ringtones and message tones. Its popularity and sales figures of 150 million units worldwide demonstrate its success in meeting these needs.

13. Nokia 1200

Units Sold: 150 million 

The Nokia 1200 was a basic mobile phone released in 2007 and was a very popular device, selling 150 million units worldwide. It was a simple and durable device that was designed for practical use, and it offered a range of useful features like long battery life, and 1.5-inch monochrome display with a resolution of 96×68 pixels. 

It also featured a simple user interface that was easy to navigate, a calendar, calculator, and alarm clock. It also had a built-in FM radio, which provided users with access to their favourite radio stations on the go.

12. Nokia 6600

Units Sold: 150 million 

In 2003, Nokia introduced the 6600, a smartphone that went on to sell 150 million copies globally. It featured a large 2.1-inch colour display with a resolution of 176×208 pixels and had a sturdy, durable design. The device ran on Symbian OS 7.0s and featured a 104 MHz ARM9 processor, which provided fast performance for its time. It also had 6MB of internal storage, which could be expanded up to 128MB with an MMC memory card. 

The Nokia 6600 was also known for its powerful camera for the time. It also had a built-in video recorder, which was a relatively new feature at the time. In terms of connectivity, the Nokia 6600 supported Bluetooth, infrared, and GPRS, which allowed for wireless data transfer and internet connectivity. Overall, the Nokia 6600 was a pioneering smartphone that set the standard for future Nokia devices.

11. Nokia 5230 

Units Sold: 150 million  

The Nokia 5230 is one of the best selling phones of all time. It was launched in 2009 and sold over 150 million units globally. It comprised features such as a touchscreen display, camera, and music player. The Nokia 5230 was also one of the first smartphones to support A-GPS for location-based services.

10. iphone XR

Units Sold: 151.1 million 

The iPhone XR, introduced in 2018, was a massive hit for Apple, selling over 75 million units globally within its first two years of release. According to research, the iPhone XR was the best-selling smartphone of 2019, accounting for 3% of all smartphone sales worldwide. Additionally, the iPhone XR remained the best-selling smartphone in 2020, with a reported 48 million units sold that year alone according to CounterPoint Research.  

It had a bigger screen than the iPhone 8, a more sophisticated camera setup, and Face ID. Additionally, the iPhone XR was offered in a range of hues which attracted the majority of people. Its vibrant colours are what made it famous in no time.

9. iPhone 11 Series

Units Sold: 159.2 million 

The iPhone 11 was launched in September 2019 and became one of Apple’s most successful devices. It featured a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, A13 Bionic chip, and dual-camera system with a 12-megapixel wide lens and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens. The iPhone 11 also had an improved front-facing camera that could capture 4K video and slow-motion selfies, which Apple called “slofies.” 

In addition to its camera and performance upgrades, the iPhone 11 also boasted improved battery life, Face ID, and a range of colour options. It was available in six colours: black, white, green, yellow, purple, and Product Red. According to a report, the iPhone 11 sold over 159.2 million units worldwide during its lifespan, which is an impressive figure for any smartphone. The iPhone 11’s success helped solidify Apple’s position as one of the leading smartphone manufacturers in the world and demonstrated the company’s ability to create innovative and popular devices that resonate with consumers.

8. iPhone 7 And 7 Plus

Units Sold: 159.9 million 

Over 128 million Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus handsets were sold worldwide after their launch in 2016. Apple had chosen to phase out the headphone jack with the launch of iphone 7. The camera and CPU were substantially upgraded, and the phone had a water-resistant body. 

7. Nokia 3210

Units Sold: 161 million  

There is no question that, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Finnish business Nokia had a greater impact than any other company on the global mobile phone market. The Nokia 3210 was arguably among the company’s most significant models to date. The phone was truly state-of-the-art when it was released in 1999, most notably the inbuilt antenna. A commercial technological leap at the time, but from today’s perspective, a standard.  

The 3210 was also the first mobile phone that was expressly designed for younger people and came with 3 pre-installed games, most notably the game “Snake,” which in the years that followed would nearly become a hallmark mobile-phone game. The Nokia 3210 sold over 161 million units worldwide despite only being in production for about a year. 

6. iPhone 5S

Units Sold: 164.5 million 

The iPhone 5s was released in September 2013 and featured a 4-inch Retina display with a resolution of 640×1136 pixels. It was powered by Apple’s A7 chip, making it the first smartphone in the world to feature a 64-bit processor. This allowed for faster performance and improved battery life compared to earlier models. 

One of the most notable features of the iPhone 5s was its Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which was embedded in the home button. This allowed users to easily unlock their device and make purchases with Apple Pay using their fingerprint. It also featured several new features like Control Center and Air Drop which made it even more popular.  

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Disclosure: none. 21 Best Selling Phones of All Time is originally published on Insider Monkey.