Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


For the first time, iPhones snag the top 7 spots in global smartphone sales

Numbers 8 through 10 may surprise you though.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
iPhone 14 Pro Max

As if we needed confirmation of Apple's dominance in the smartphone market, a recent study drives it home -- people really love iPhones. According to a recent study from Counterpoint Research, Apple's ubiquitous handset isn't simply the best-selling smartphone in the world -- iPhone models take up the top seven spots.

Also: The best phones to buy, including foldables and budget picks

For 2023, the iPhone 14 was the number-one-selling phone, with the US and China alone making up half of its sales. 

What's interesting is that the current base model -- the iPhone 13 -- accounted for 19% of total iPhone sales for the year. That's down from the 28% that the iPhone 13 logged in 2022 when it was the best-selling phone. The biggest reason for that, Counterpoint Research says, is that the iPhone 14 was fairly similar to the iPhone 13, leading people to adopt Pro models instead in order to gain new features. 

  1. iPhone 14
  2. iPhone 14 Pro Max
  3. iPhone 14 Pro
  4. iPhone 13
  5. iPhone 15 Pro Max
  6. iPhone 15 Pro
  7. iPhone 15
  8. Galaxy A14 5G
  9. Galaxy A04e
  10. Galaxy a14 4G

The 14 Pro Max and then the 14 Pro claimed the second and third spots, bolstered by customers who were looking for a new phone, but wanting enough of a difference from the previous generation.

2021's iPhone 13 still held strong in the number spot overall, which research shows is largely due to carrier promotions in Japan and value-focused shoppers in India.

The 15 Pro Max, 15 Pro, and 15 sit in the 5 through 7 spots, respectively, despite being available for less than a quarter of the year.

It's not until spot number eight that another manufacturer arrives, with the Galaxy A14 finally appearing on the list, followed by the Galaxy A04e in ninth place and the Galaxy a14 4G in 10th. It's worth noting that these too are value-oriented phones, especially popular in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, Mexico, and Indonesia.

Also: 5 reasons why I always use a MagSafe phone case

Also noteworthy: While these top 10 phones dominate the market, they account for only 20% of total sales, showing there's a lot of room for other players.

Aside from Apple and Samsung, though, no other manufacturer made the list, which has been the case since 2021. 

Will 2024's list look much the same? Counterpoint Research suggests that as many manufacturers trim lineups, it's likely that next year's top 10 will take up a larger portion of the market overall. Additionally, phones from Chinese brands are expected to enter the list.

Editorial standards