When Counterpoint, Canalys, or any other agency reports on the most sold or shipped smartphones globally, the manufacturers that are usually at the top of their charts are Samsung and Apple. However, the best-selling device doesn’t come from Apple or Samsung, even though their devices are present in the top ten list of the most sold devices.
I stumbled upon a text the other day that explores the most successful mobile phones in terms of sales. The list features the top 15, and the information is gathered from Wikipedia, Yahoo Finance, and the tech analyst firm Omdia.
Leading the chart is the Nokia 1100, which has been sold in over 250 million units within six years before its discontinuation in 2009. The phone was initially intended for underdeveloped markets but turned out to be quite popular worldwide. The phone even gained popularity among criminals since it was susceptible to hacking, potentially enabling unauthorized online banking transactions. The puzzling aspect of why cybercriminals are interested in a discontinued Nokia phone remains unclear. In underground forums, hackers have been willing to pay as much as $32,413 for Nokia 1100 phones produced in the company’s former Bochum, Germany factory.
Notable devices in the top-selling category include the Nokia 1110, iPhone 6 & 6 Plus, Nokia 105 Series, among others. The Nokia 3210, one of the best Nokia devices ever made, was sold in 161 million units worldwide. Nokia’s smartphones are also present on the list, but they do not run on the Windows phone. The Nokia 6600 and Nokia 5230, sold in over 150 million copies, were powered by the beloved Symbian software.
Nowadays, times have changed, and there is an increasing presence of alternative manufacturers like Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, and Nothing in the number of most sold devices in some markets. However, it seems to me that the Nokia 1100 will hold the record for quite some time in the future.