These are the best-selling smartphones of 2021

The pandemic-induced disruptions delayed smartphone production globally that led to a decline in sales in the July-September period

People shopping at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store during the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini in September in New York. Getty
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More than 1.04 billion smartphones were sold in the first three quarters of this year, almost 88.6 million more than in the first nine months of 2020, according to technology research and consulting company Gartner.

After a double-digit surge on a yearly basis in the first two quarters of 2021, global smartphone sales declined by 6.8 per cent annually in the third quarter of this year.

The Covid-19 pandemic-induced shortage of key components such as radio frequency and power management integrated circuits, delayed smartphone production globally that led to a decline in sales in the July-September period, according to Gartner.

“This disrupted the supply-demand equilibrium and end-users were burdened with limited choices at point of sale,” it said.

Despite the prevailing market constraints, challenging business ecosystem and dismal business outlook, some smartphone models have continued to perform strongly.

Here are the top seven best-selling smartphones in the first three quarters of the year, according to industry observers Counterpoint Research and International Data Corporation, whose research did not reveal the exact number of units sold for each model.

epa08741384 Handout image released by Apple showing Apple CEO Tim Cook showcasing the all-new iPhone 12 Pro during a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, USA, 13 October 2020. Apple is expected to introduce several new products including a new iPhone.  EPA/BROOKS KRAFT / APPLE INC. / HO EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES

iPhone 12

Apple’s iPhone 12 became the world’s best-selling 5G smartphone in the first nine months of the year, according to industry data.

Despite a delayed launch owing to the coronavirus-led supply chain disruptions, the 5G-enabled iPhone 12 managed to attract more customers. With a 15.5-centimetre display, the iPhone 12 was selling at Dh3,399 ($945) in the UAE at the time of launch.

It was released on October 13 last year, along with three more models – the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Galaxy A12

Launched late last year, Galaxy A12 is one of the Samsung’s most-selling budget smartphones.

With a 16.5cm display and quad-camera system on the rear, the A12 model has a powerful battery of 5,000 milliampere-hour that is enough to last more than two days between charges. The company said it comes with a defence-grade Knox security platform and is supported by a side fingerprint sensor.

Along with high-end smartphones, Samsung regularly launches budget devices such as Galaxy A12 to attract more customers. AP

iPhone 11

The iPhone 11, which was introduced in September 2019 at Dh2,949 in the UAE, still attracts buyers, more than two years after its launch.

Offering a low-cost, entry level iPhone allowed Apple to increase its presence in a wider array of price bands – a strategy that competitors Samsung and Xiaomi have been employing for years.

This image provided by Apple shows the new iPhone 12 Pro Max and its price, which Apple unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro will be available starting Oct. 23; the Mini and the Pro Max will follow on Nov. 13. (Apple via AP)

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Priced at Dh4,699 in the UAE at the time of launch, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 17cm display, the largest yet in the history of Apple smartphones. It also has the brand’s highest resolution of about 3.5 million pixels.

Its 5G compatibility made it a big hit among professional users and buyers looking for a bigger screen.

A 5G network promises an internet speed of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, which will gradually reach 10Gbps – 100 times faster than 4G.

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - 2020/10/26: Apple iPhone 12 Pro seen on display at an Apple store in Taipei. (Photo by Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Pro, meanwhile, has a screen size of 15.5cm and started selling at Dh4,199 in the UAE.

Both new Pro models in Apple’s 12 series have an industry leading IP68 rating and can withstand being submerged in water up to six metres for about 30 minutes.

Xiaomi Redmi 9A

Launched last year, Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi’s budget phone Redmi 9A managed to grab huge market share in India – the world’s second-most populous country. It was the sixth-most selling smartphone globally in the January-September period.

Donning a 16.6cm display, Redmi 9A comes with a 5000mAh battery that delivers two days of uninterrupted connectivity, the company said. Its artificial intelligence-driven face-unlock feature ensures instant unlocking with a glance.

“The feature gives quick, secure and convenient access to your smartphone using intelligent face recognition system,” Xiaomi said.

In July 2018, Xiaomi went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a valuation of $54 billion. It is known for its affordable devices that draw comparisons with Apple and Samsung phones.

Xiaomi's low-end Redmi 9 series did well in both India and China - world's biggest smartphone markets. Image: Xiaomi

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 was the seventh most-selling phone during the first nine months of this year. It is equipped with a high-performance octa-core processor with a maximum frequency of 2.0GHz and a GPU (graphics processing unit) frequency of 1,000MHz for improved efficiency.

It comes with a HyperEngine technology to offer a seamless gaming experience to users.

There is an AI-backed four-camera setup on the rear and a 13MP in-display front camera to click selfies even during the low-light.

Updated: December 28, 2021, 3:30 AM
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