Apple’s iPhone 6s was most popular smartphone of 2016 — and it wasn’t close

iPhone 6 problems
Love your iPhone? You’re not alone. Far from it, in fact — you’re in the majority. According to the latest results from research firm IHS Markit, the iPhone was the most popular smartphone in the world last year when it came to global shipment numbers. In 2016, the iPhone 6s became the most-shipped smartphone in the world, followed by the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus. This puts the iEmpire’s hardware well ahead of the other 350 or so smartphone models IHS Markit tracked as part of its research.

While IHS Markit hasn’t released exact shipment numbers, it looks as though the iPhone 6s shipped around 60 million units, whereas most others in the top 10 averaged around 25 million. These results support previous findings from research firm Strategy Analytics, who also reported that the iPhone 6s was the world’s most popular phone throughout the first half of last year.

While overall may be more popular as an operating system than Apple overall, it’s clear that when it comes to individual phones, Steve Jobs’ legacy reigns supreme. The iPhone 6s shipped more than double the number of units than its closest non-Apple competitor — the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. That said, it looks like the battle dominance is really just playing out between Apple and Samsung — aside from the S7 Edge, the Samsung Galaxy J3, J5, S7, and J7 also made the top 10 list. The only non-Apple or Samsung device to join the mix was the Oppo A53.

This isn’t particularly surprising, given that Apple and Samsung are the two largest smartphone makers. Huawei, which currently claims about 10 percent market share, was notably absent from the list (as was the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7). The Oppo A53, however, managed to make its way to the No. 7 spot thanks to its popularity in China and India, two of the largest emerging smartphone markets. Indeed, a number of larger device makers are including the Asian countries in their broader business goals — Google, for example, is partnering with Indian cellphone service provider Jio to make an affordable 4G smartphone.

But for the time being, everyone is playing catch up to Apple.


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