Counterpoint Research has released its list of the ten bestselling smartphones in the world in the first month of 2021. As always, the list has a number of expected names. And a few surprises. Here is our take on the important points of the report:

six out of ten: iphones boss bestselling smartphones charts in january 2021 - iphones

The iPhone dominates

Six of the ten phones in the list are iPhones – in fact, the four highest selling phones out there were all iPhones. These are the iPhone 12 (first place), the iPhone 12 Pro Max (second place), the iPhone 12 Pro (third place), the iPhone 11 (fourth place), the iPhone 12 mini (eighth place), and the iPhone SE (tenth place). When you consider the pricing of these devices, this is a staggering achievement.

Redmi 9 series gets into the top six

If the first four phones in the bestselling list were the (super) premium iPhones, the next two were from the ultra-affordable category. These were the Redmi 9A at fifth place and the Redmi 9 in sixth. It is interesting to “note” that the bestselling Note series in India is not exactly that much of a rage overseas – the basic devices still sell more. Incidentally, the Redmi 9 and 9A accounted for 25 percent of Xiaomi’s sales in the month!

Samsung A-series mid segmenters make a place for themselves

Six iPhones, two Redmis, and that leaves two places in the top ten, and those are occupied by Samsung’s A-series – the Galaxy A21S at eighth place and the Galaxy A31 at ninth. These are both mid-segment devices. This takes us to the next point actually.

A mix of super-premium, premium, mid-segment, and affordable

If we were to look at the prices of these ten phones, the results are fascinating (we have taken a blend of the official prices and prices on Amazon US for a consistent Dollar price):

iPhone 12: USD 799
iPhone 12 Pro Max: USD 1099
iPhone 12 Pro: USD 999
iPhone 11: USD 599 (reduced)
Redmi 9A: USD 115 (approx)
Redmi 9: USD 125 (approx)
Samsung Galaxy A21s: USD 185
iPhone mini: USD 699
Samsung Galaxy A31: USD 199 (approx)
iPhone SE: USD 399

If we had to make a price segment table:

USD 0-200: 4 devices
USD 200-400: 1 device
USD 400-600: 1 device
USD 600-800: 2 devices
USD 800 and above: 2 devices

Based on this, the top ten device list has four super-premium devices (the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12, and the iPhone 12 mini), one premium device (the iPhone 11), one sort of premium mid-segment device (iPhone SE), two mid-segment devices (the Galaxy A21s and the Galaxy A31) and two affordable budget devices (the Redmi 9A and the Redmi 9). Interestingly, there is no device between USD 199 and USD 398, and again nothing between USD 400-598.

Samsung, Xiaomi making inroads in new markets…as Huawei steps back?

As per the report, Xiaomi is expanding its presence in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. The report also says that Samsung is looking to attract Honor (Huawei’s sister brand) device audiences in Europe, Latin America, South East Asia, and the Middle East and Africa region. We wonder if both these brands are trying to fill gaps left behind by Huawei, which increasingly seems to be getting sidelined.

Android flagships no longer bestsellers?

It is telling to note that not one Android flagship makes the top ten bestselling phone list. There is no Galaxy S series device, no Galaxy Note device, no Pixel, and no OnePlus device. Yes, some would say that there were no new Android flagships launched close to January, but then, the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE are also older flagships.

iPhone price equations are odd

Conventional thought would suggest that lower-priced devices would sell more than higher-priced ones, but that does not seem to always apply in the iPhone world. Yes, the iPhone 12 is the highest-selling phone of the ear and at USD 799 is less expensive than the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Pro. But then the most expensive iPhone of them all, the iPhone 12 Pro Max outsells the iPhone 12 Pro, and the least expensive new iPhone, the iPhone 12 mini. Speaking of the 12 mini, its price tag of USD 699 should have made it a bestseller, but it barely sneaks above the iPhone SE 2020. Speaking of which, the SE itself at USD 399 should have got bigger numbers…but then as we have so often said, prices have an odd role to play in the iPhone universe.

No devices from two of the top five brands

Oppo and Vivo might be among the top five phone brands in the world, but none of their devices made it to the top ten.

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