The phones Nigerians searched for the most in 2019 are not the ones that sold the most

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What phones did Nigerians search for in 2019? We went through Google Trends and fished the top ones out. They are not the phones that sold the most during the year. We have all the juicy details.

Google has released its Trending Searches of 2019 and als always, it includes lots of interesting information. The release tells us what Nigerians searched for the most in 2019. The year’s top trending searches include: ‘ASUU Strike’, ‘AFCON 2019’, ‘Naira Marley’ and the ‘Women’s World Cup 2019’. But what interests us here at MobilityArena, of course, are the phones that Nigerians searched for the most.

what phones did Nigerians search for in 2019?
What phones did Nigerians search for in 2019?

What phones did Nigerians search for in 2019?

So, what phones did Nigerians search for the most in 2019? We went through the Trends information and fished them out. It is an interesting list that raises eyebrows – and questions. Here is the list of the most searched phones in Nigeria in 2019, as obtained from Google Trends[1]:

1) iPhone 11
2) Samsung Note
3) Samsung S10
4) iPhone XS
5) iPhone 8
6) Samsung S7
7) Samsung S8
8) iPhone 6s
9) iPhone XS MAX
10) iPhone XR

We see 6 Apple iPhone models and 4 Samsung models on the list – and all of them are premium smartphones, costing hundreds of thousands of naira. Does that mean Nigerians are buying these models the most? Don’t hold your breath. Here are the top selling smartphone brands in Nigeria during the year, in this order:

  1. TECNO Mobile
  2. Samsung Mobile
  3. itel Mobile
  4. Infinix Mobility
  5. Huawei Mobile

As a matter of fact, Apple iPhones have very minimal market share in the country. The affordable and cheap end of the market is where you find phones that sell the most. Samsung is in 2nd place on the list of top elling smartphoen brands in the country, and it is not the high-end models that make that happen. The bulk of the sales happen at the middle and bottom end of the market.

Infinix Hot 6 specifications

So, why is there a contradiction between the most searched phones in Nigeria and the top selling ones?

One, it can be argued that the most searched phones are aspirational items and got searched for a lot for that reason. All over the world, people window-shop for items they cannot afford. Nigerians are highly aspirational people – wanting the biggest, the most expensive, and the best, even when those items are out of the their reach.

So, it is very plausible that this is what happened here: lots of people searching for iPhones and high-end Samsung phones for their aspirational status.

But there is a second angle to this: Nigeria is a country in which over 80% of citizens live in poverty. It is not difficult to imagine that most of the searches done on Google are done by tyhe more well-to-do segment of the population – especially people in urban centres and with access to the Internet. It is a logical thing.

Such people, especially those with corporate jobs in Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Ikeja, and other high-brow areas on Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, are the same people who search for Apple iPhones and Samsung flagships. Hence, their searches easily make it to the top trends of the year.

The Top Aspirational Smartphone brands in Nigeria


While smartphone brands like TECNO, Infinix, and itel are the top selling devices in the Nigerian market, the brands with the top aspirational value are Apple and Samsung, and people want to see what they have to offer – and probably also see how they can afford them.

apple vs samsung

What phones did you search for in 2019? Did you search for Apple iPhones and high-end Samsung flagships? What phone(s) did you buy during the year?


  1. See what was trending in 2019 – Nigeria. Source.


  1. Bought nada (for myself at least)… Can’t remember all I searched for though but cuts across different brands. Most search based on knowledge acquisition though not cause of buying consideration.

  2. So they search for Iphone and samsung, them ended up buying Tecno? Interesting. Its speaks alot about how Tecno devices are so affordable.

  3. There’s nothing wrong in settling for Tecno tho, even after searching for iPhone and Samsung. They’re only goimg for what they can afford.. we cannot come and go and kill ourselves.. lmao

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