Apple’s iPhone XR is the best-selling smartphone of 2019

The company shipped 46.3 million of the devices last year, beating its previous record of 30 million units for the iPhone SE in 2016

Despite falling iPhone sales, Apple's iPhone XR and iPhone 11 were the top-selling smartphones in 2019. Bloomberg
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Apple's iPhone XR, which retails from Dh2,000, was the best-selling smartphone of 2019, according to the technology researcher Omdia.

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Apple's continued dominance … is all the more remarkable considering its price hikes caused overall iPhone shipments to decline last year.

The US tech company shipped 46.3 million devices of the model last year, surpassing its previous best sales record of 30 million units for the iPhone SE in 2016.

The iPhone11, which was released in September last year, was the second best-seller for 2019 with 37.3 million units sold, the Omdia study found.

“Apple has consistently owned the first and second positions in the global smartphone model shipment ranking … with the company maintaining this dominant position for more than five years running," said Jusy Hong, a smartphone research and analysis director at Omdia.

Apple released the iPhone XR in 2018 as a low-cost alternative to the XS, selling 23.1 million units that year. However, last year its shipments more than doubled.

“The company’s continued dominance on this front is all the more remarkable considering Apple’s price hikes caused overall iPhone shipments to decline last year,” said Omdia. “By limiting the number of models, Apple has been able to concentrate its sales on a few smartphones that have broad appeal, like the iPhone XR."

Powered by strong sales of its competitively priced iPhone 11 – which entered the market at $699 to cater to budget-conscious consumers –as well as other models, Apple jumped two positions to become the world’s top smartphone vendor in the last quarter of 2019.

The company sold 70.7 million devices in the last three months until December, grabbing 19 per cent of the market share, according to researcher Strategy Analytics.

It was followed closely by South Korea's Samsung with an 18.4 per cent market share and China’s Huawei, which had a 15 per cent share.

Last year’s overall smartphone sales were dominated by Apple and Samsung, with nine of the top 10 devices from the two brands.

Samsung's Galaxy A10, which sold 30.3 million devices, Galaxy A50 with 24.2 million shipments and Galaxy A20 at 19.2 million, featured among the top 10 models.

Industry analysts said Samsung’s broader range of smartphones and variety of price levels made it difficult for a single model to standout.

“Samsung's top models in 2019 were the A-series and J-series, both of which are mid and low-priced models,” said Gerrit Schneeman, senior analyst at Omdia.

The company increased the number of variants of its flagship models in 2019 by introducing lower-priced devices and 5G smartphones, Mr Schneeman added.

The only other manufacturer to reach Omdia's top 10 list of smartphones was China’s Xiaomi, boosted by strong sales in India. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 was placed eighth with 16.4 million units sold.

Omdia added that 14.7 million 5G smartphones were sold last year, the most popular of which was Samsung’s Note 10+ with sales of 2.6 million, followed by Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro at 2.5 million.

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