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Big News: The bestselling Samsung smartphone of 2021 was not a flagship

You would have expected the bestselling Samsung smartphone of 2021 to be a flagship, like the Galaxy S21, S21+, or S21 Ultra. A powerful, top specc’d phone that is immediately attractive to the eye. Or perhaps a previous flagship. But that was not to be. According to Counterpoint Research, the bestselling Samsung smartphone of 2021 was a budget model.

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What?! Budget? How budget? The Galaxy A72? No; not that one. You have to go lower. Surely, it has to be the Galaxy A52 or its 5G variant. You were wrong if you thought that. Further down, please. “Aha! Definitely the A32!” I’m afraid, you have it wrong.

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Let me cut down on the drama and be merciful into you. The bestselling Samsung smartphone of 2021 is the Galaxy A12. Hey, language! Stop the expletives. It isn’t such a life-changing revelation. If you are given to expletives, there is more information to trigger you though, I’m afraid. Shall we?

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While Samsung Galaxy A12 is the bestselling Samsung smartphone of 2021, it is the 6th bestselling smartphone of the year, right behind five iPhone models. Five! Apple sold in tremendous numbers last year, people. Have a look at the chart from Counterpoint:

Top 10 global bestselling smartphones of 2021

The global top 10 bestselling phones in 2021

  1. Apple iPhone 12
  2. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
  3. Apple iPhone 13
  4. Apple iPhone 12 Pro
  5. Apple iPhone 11
  6. Samsung Galaxy A12
  7. Xiaomi Redmi 9A
  8. Apple iPhone SE 2020
  9. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  10. Xiaomi Redmi 9

It is insane that of the global top 10 bestselling smartphones, seven (7) were Apple iPhones. That is just mind-bogging. How did one company pull that off with expensive phone models? What is Apple’s secret sauce for recording this kind of sales?

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The top 5 bestselling devices are iPhone models, then Samsung A12 makes an appearance in the 6th place, the only Samsung model to. Xiaomi has two phones in the top 10 list. I have thought that if Samsung has any true challenger today, it is Xiaomi. Perhaps this list is an indicator of things to come.

What is the bestselling Samsung smartphone of 2021?

Specs of the bestselling Samsung smartphone of 2021

  • Release Date: December 2020
  • Compatible Networks: 2G/3G/4G
  • Display: 6.5-inch, PLS TFT, Infinity-V
  • Processor: Helio P35
  • Selfie Camera: 8 MP
  • Rear camera: 48 MP quad sensors
  • RAM: Up to 6 GB
  • ROM: Up to 128 GB
  • Battery: 5000mAh
  • 15W fast charging

It sells for $150, $170, and $200, respectively for the 3/32 GB, 4/64 GB, and 6/128 GB variants. This budget model is what sold the most last year among Samsung’s line-up. It was released in December 2020, so it has the benefit of taking off pretty early in the year 2021. But that isn’t exactly why it is the top seller; is it?

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After all, Samsung S21 was released just a month after in January 2021. Not much gap in terms of entry to the market. It looks like it sold that we’ll based on the price. And if you look at the two Xiaomi models on the list, Redmi 9A and Redmi 9, they fit into that pattern. They are budget models.

Apple has the premium smartphone market on lockdown and will once again record a huge chunk of the industry’s profit for last year. Hate them or love them, iPhones ruled the smartphone world in 2021.

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Did you buy a Samsung A12 last year? Did you see this coming, or does the emergence of the Galaxy A12 come as a surprise to you?

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References

  • Counterpoint Research (link)
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