20 of the world's top selling phones

20 of the world's top selling phones

Summary: UPDATED. Samsung and Apple phones may today rule the smartphone market roost today, but the most popular phones and smartphones were in fact sold almost a decade ago. Here are some of the top selling mobile phones since the the start of the new millennium.

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TOPICS: Nokia, Smartphones
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  • Sony Ericsson K750/K750i: ~15 million

    In just over a year, Sony Ericsson is estimated to have sold around 15 million K750 mobile phones. Not quite smartphone, not quite feature phone; it was a high-end device that appealed to many. So many in fact that it amounted around 15 million during the time it was on sale. In one quarter alone, Sony Ericsson sold close to 14 million units; with the K750/K750i taking one of the prime spots in the top five list of best selling global phones. The company sold more than 103 million phones in 2007, showing just how popular the company in its day.

    Image: Sony Mobile (formerly Sony Ericsson)

  • HTC Thunderbolt: ~16 million

    Sales soared due to the excitement during the run-up to the device's launch, so much so that it broke record sales of one phone vendor. Wirefly reported that sales were 400 percent higher than any other pre-sale device. In just two weeks, Verizon sold 260,000 units.

    Though it was rumored the device was selling faster than Apple's iPhone -- a rumor that was subsequently squashed -- but the HTC smartphone is believed to have sold 15 million units by the end of 2011, with another million during the last calendar year.

    Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Samsung E250: ~30 million

    Thanks to huge popularity in emerging markets, not limited to Africa, Samsung sold more than 30 million E250 handsets since it first launched in 2006. It was also extremely popular in Samsung's home country of South Korea, where it sold in the region of 20 million handsets in less than a year. The handset included a VGA camera and FM radio, and the battery lasted for days. One of the main reasons behind its success was that it was extremely cheap, costing only around $150. 

    Image: GSM Arena

Topics: Nokia, Smartphones

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  • Razr

    I remember when having a Razr was considered absolutely the coolest thing on Earth.
    jackmcnally12
    • You have to admit, around the same time Motorola released the Razr

      Nokia released the n-gage, the lamest thing on earth
      the_tyrant
      • Haha so true...

        And the people who thought they had got the latest thing with an n-gage!

        My favourite from the list was probably the k750i - that phone would not die! I used it on and off until 2011; every time my new phone got stolen / broken it came back out. Every time I traveled to some of those places you don't want to take expensive tech it came. That was it's downfall; eventually stolen from my bag on an overnight train from Xi'an.

        I'm with you the koto lest phone I ever owned was the V3

        Other than that the list is a bit of a joke; several models such as the v3 have generations and spec changes grouped together, but not iPhones. Maybe combine 3g and 3GS, 4 and 4s?
        MarknWill
        • Slightly more official list here

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/picture-galleries/9818080/The-20-bestselling-mobile-phones-of-all-time.html?frame=2459012
          MarknWill
      • N

        Heyyy... The N-gage was a cool device... Had a superb screen was just a lil clumsy. I rocked one and also a gold razr which was damn cool.
        ArcaneAce
      • .. and Ericsson

        And Ericsson launched their first real competitor to Nokia 9000 Communicator, the Ericsson phone was as big as a cigarette case, with touch sensitive screen - but a flip plastic cover that doubled as a keyboard and microphone. Nokia came with the 9500 with WiFi on the Communicator line.
        Some of us never bothered to stop and look at the Razr - just another flip-phone.
        knuthf
        • Best dumb phone I ever owned was an Ericsson

          Worst was the Moto Razr .... ended up with 4 replacements in one year and not because I drop it.

          1st Razr was replaced 3 days after I got it .... came WITHOUT an installed antenna. The replacement died about 1 month later. The 3rd replacement worked for about 4 months, then the battery would not hold a charge. 4th replacement worked for about 8 month ... then the display died.

          I had a Moto V560 before, so I didn't expect the Razr to be such a piece of garbage.
          wackoae
    • Still is.

      I would totally sport a razr, and look damn sexy while doing it.
      blarelli
    • Razr

      They were great phones, for the time, but it is really fair to compare sales of a phone that went for as little as $.01 on contract with phones costing $199 on contract? I think not.
      rphunter1242
    • .. what is the "Razr"? - a misnomer not made by Gillette?

      I wonder how big your "world" is - both Sony/Ericsson and not the least, Nokia with their 9xxxx line made the simple phones with voice-only service very little interesting. We wanted applications - but the operators / carriers never got the message.

      The device made little impression outside the US, which btw is a tiny market.
      knuthf
    • To be fair

      Sporting a Razr today would be pretty freaking cool.
      blarelli
  • What about the Nokia 5110?

    My guess is that it's better known and more rugged than the 3300.
    jaykayess
  • Hmm which one?

    The picture you show of the Bionic is xt865. Verizon also sold a different phone; the xt875 called the Droid Bionic. Pretty similiar phones but different in appearance on the outside.
    LarsDennert
  • Apple lied about figures

    According to this list, Apple have sold nothing more than 200m phone from the first iPhone till date. According to Apple, they have been selling 36m phone per quarter for the last 3yrs. Merely taking 2yrs, they should have sold 240m phones and that is putting it at 30m per quater! Somebody needs to explain this figures to me!
    jonnybr
  • editing

    The coverage was great but.. sometimes I wonder what the editors of ZDNet actually do... with an opening line like that in the summary section getting past their apparently non-watchful eye...

    Again, great coverage though... thanks Zack!
    vailhem
  • Oh yeah..

    I think you are referring to the SE P800i. Sony-E was really on the right track there, but a bit before it's time I think. The phone could be used as a modern touch screen but Sony-E tuned the interface so that it really required the accompanying stylus. In the next models they moved more and more to a physical keyboard again. They could have led the market for smartphones.
    Riaanh
  • the pic of the 1100 is actually that of the 1110!

    The pic shows the 1110, which was a costlier version of the 1100. The 1100 has a single select center key, while the 1110 has a 4 way navigation key at the top center of its keypad.
    anay3000
  • smartphone

    the list is very good but i miss http://adf.ly/byFBw to be mejor.Y that's not all because in the 2014's the best.
    julionnnn
  • the latest and best

    no doubt that cell phones have created a revolution, here's a link to increase the excitement
    http://www.thebestcellworld.blogspot.com.
    julionnnn