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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
Apple iPhone 3GS: ~35 million
A minor update to Apple's breakthrough iPhone 3G, the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant may have sold as many as 35 million iPhone 3GS' since it first launched in 2009. Apple doesn't break down its iPhone sales by version, but according to analysts and preliminary sales of 1 million in the first weekend, sales remained high even into the December 2011 holiday season.