All hail the king: iPhone 5s is the world’s most popular handset

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According to new research from market intelligence firm ABI Research, the iPhone was the world’s most popular smartphone in Q1 2014, leaving competitors in the dust as the top-selling handset globally.

Despite ripping off ideas, paying celebrities to endorse their products, and having a confusing matrix of dozens of smartphones on the market, Samsung was unable to capture the no. 1 spot from Cupertino — with Apple’s flagship iPhone 5s 16GB coming in at the premier position.

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That’s not the only good news for Apple, either. The iPhone 4s 8GB model interestingly rounds out ABI’s top five when it comes to popularity, demonstrating the kind of long and profitable product lifecycle that most smartphone vendors can only dream about.

The rest of the top 20 models are made up of Sony, LG, and for the first time ever, Xiaomi — while Huawei dropped out of the rankings.

This news comes off the back of another similarly optimistic recent report, indicating that the iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the United States — capturing 41.9 percent of the market. All in all, not a bad day to be Tim Cook!

  • http://www.sk1wbw.wordpress.com/ Wayne Williams

    These are the stats that mean something. The whole Android marketshare vs iOS marketshare debate is meaningless as there is no company called iOS or Android that makes money.

  • danNla

    So where is the Samsung Galaxy S5 on this list? This is their most recent flagship device … it must not have sold well at all.

    • Luke Dormehl

      It was outsold in the UK at least by the so-called “flop” iPhone 5c in its first month on sale.

      • Grunt_at_the_Point

        The S5 was just released early last month (June). The 5c was released June or July 2013. So, if you are going to make a comparison do it comparing an apple with apple, no pun intended.

        Edit: Apple will always have the advantage over Samsung because of its ownership of OS and IOS. Generally, The two systems due to their integration are superior. Consumers in the West, generally, prefer Apple products over Samsung for that reason. Samsung hardware is excellent. They are held back by a fragmented Android OS. I switched to Apple for the operating systems not for the hardware.

        So, please stop slamming Samsung as being inferior. They are not. Hell, Apple hardware is substantially built with Samsung parts.

    • Brandon Franklin

      It probably worse than we can
      Imagine. Have u seen the commercial wher samesung has to tell its users to upgrade from ths gs3 to the gs5? Reeks of desperation. Best part the iPhone 6 and iPhone mega are not even out yet…samesung has to be shitting their pants right now!

    • Asher6ixx

      Articles like these are so misleading. Apple makes ONE smartphone every year, while Samsung, LG, Motorola, etc. make numerous phones throughout the year. Obviously the iPhone will sell the most of a particular model of phone. There are still MANY more Android phones sold over iPhones though. @Wayne Williams Not sure what your comment means but I hope you do understand that Android and iOS both in turn make their parent companies money, so yes the marketshare is very meaningful.

      • Luke Dormehl

        But marketshare by itself doesn’t tell you much. It gives you an indication of where things stand, but it still doesn’t definitely tell you which company is doing better. Apple has great margins on its products, loyal customers who could go on to buy iPads, iMacs etc., and moneyed customers who will buy apps that will earn Apple more money. And Samsung may make a lot of phones (to the point of alienating customers) but it still has flagship devices. And its latest one is a flop.

      • Pradeep R

        You speak like Tim Cook – meaning without robust data and common sense.

        There are a bunch of other reports which says many Galaxy S5 is selling more than 5S

      • TJ

        Please post a link to one of them… The Galaxy S5 was a flop. Half the people who bought it thought is was a 5S. Any coincidence that that Galaxy numbers are so close to the iPhones?

      • Pradeep R

        What rubbish you are speaking? Flagship Galaxy phones have been following a clear naming pattern. It’s a mere coincidence 5S and S5 to launch in the same year.

        If you are really saying iPhone users bought Galaxy S5 customers thinking it was iPhone 5S, then I have to say Apple fans are down right dumb, dumber, dumbest. If that’s the case, then Apple customers deserves to be ridiculed like how Samsung does in this ads.

        http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-iphone-sales-real-numbers-behind-tim-cooks-misleading-chart-displayed-iphone-5s-5c-unveiling

        http://blogs.computerworld.com/windows/23988/apple-ceo-tim-cooks-astonishingly-misleading-claims-about-windows-8-wwdc

      • LordQuad

        Market share means nothing, zero, zilch if you’re ‘losing money’ (*see Samsung’a recent forecast change. Apple’s selling a single ‘flagship’ each year. Just like Samsung. HTC. LG. Sony. All of them. One flagship. While Samsung continues selling cheap models and pay as you go options, they’re essentially giving them away, while Apple continues to be in the top five in world sales with a three year old phone & probably a fifty percent, maybe more profit margin! That’s amazing. Samsung’ solder hardware outselling it’s latest flagships is significant. Market share doesn’t equal profit share. That’s what “matters”

      • Pradeep R

        Apple’s 3 year old in the top 5 means people don’t give an F about the new iPhone 5C. Also, it also means they think there isn’t any noticeable difference between the three year old phone and their latest flagship

  • Hildebrand

    Is the iPhone 5S also the best selling smartphone of all time? Curious to see a top 10 list. Could be a Cult of Mac news item :-)

    • Luke Dormehl

      If you’ll sign over all rights to this story I’d happily research it. ;)

      • Hildebrand

        Consider a (live) dashboard page with more relevant statistics including pie charts for platform share, brand shares, device shares, iOS versions, etc. Left column worldwide, right column US only. Some all time, some year graphs.

  • Pradeep R

    What piece of crap is this site? Looks like bunch of Apple iSheep are running it. Terrible and provocative headlines.

    Apple is nothing more than the new copycat in the town. After accusing others of copying, now they are shamelessly copying others ideas

    • Ali Fawaz

      So what exactly are you doing on “Cult-of-Mac ” of you are an Apple hater?

      • Asher6ixx

        Maybe because it pains people to see FUD spread throughout the tech world. The majority of the articles on this site are half truths spun to misinterpret facts. With Steve Jobs gone and Tim Cook as CEO, Apple has done NOTHING to innovate. The redesign of iOS 7 was just awful. The whole maps fiasco was a disaster. Oh wait, they added a fingerprint scanner that does next to nothing except add huge bezels to the top and bottom of the phone. Apple is moving at a snails pace while Android is running laps around them.

        But but but, more people pay for apps and iOS… um, tell me again how that benefits you? Do you own shares of Apple or something? I have a feeling that the vast majority of the iphone users on this site have never actually owned an android phone.

      • xxmixedxtapexx

        This still doesn’t answer the question why you are on a Mac fan site/info site. You don’t like Apple? That’s fine, just don’t be surprised to see this stuff here. Go complain about it elsewhere because frankly Apple fans don’t care – one of the main reasons the Samsung iPhone bash ads don’t do anything to bring Apple customers to their brand.

      • Asher6ixx

        You are assuming I hate Apple. Yes, I prefer Android over iOS, but I don’t hate Apple. I’m actually typing this on a Mac as we speak. My issue is with these BS articles on this site. They are riddled with half truths and spun facts.

      • TJ

        I’ll translate for the uninitiated: This guy is a shill, or a brainwash-shill. One is actually paid to spit out old tired one liners like “the iOS 7 redesign was a failure” and “Apple doesn’t innovate”, the other is convinced that astro-turfing is the right thing to do and do it for free. Both haven’t a clue why people like iPhones or iOS. They think we really just blindly follow Apple no matter what. They haven’t realized that we follow Apple because time after time, from the iPod, all the way to the latest iPad Air, their devices took technology and made it work for us, and not us for it.

      • Asher6ixx

        Ok without dancing around the question, how has apple innovated in regard to the iphone since it’s launch. I’ll keep it simple with that one question. I’ll be here waiting for an answer……………..

      • Ali Fawaz

        This site is for Apple Fans, just as the name implies, so you would expect articles that hail Apple and bash Android.
        That Aside, you claimed that:
        1) Apple is not Innovating
        2) Tim Cook sucks as a CEO
        3) iOS 7 was awful
        4) Apple Maps Suck
        5) Touch ID sucks
        6) Android is ahead of Apple

        My response is the following:
        1) most of your points are bast on opinion, such as points 1, 2, 3 and 6. And personally, i disagree with all of them. I think that Apple is indeed innovating, but differently than the competition. Apple is working on the long term future, most notably seen in WWDC 2014 (Swift, Metal, Homekit, Healthkit….). When they release a feature, they don’t give it full power straight away, they develop it over time. I think that most android makers think and work in the short term and just pump up their devices with high specs that perform just as good as Apple devices (with lower specs). As for iOS 7, i think its gorgeous and a work of art, but i understand that many people would disagree because it is a matter of taste.
        2) Apple Maps is a major problem, nobody can deny it, even Apple… but there are other solutions so its not a big deal.
        3) I do have shares in Apple, not much, but that is not the reason i support Apple. I do that because The are focused and really know what they are doing, unlike every single Android phone maker. (Google is a different case)
        4) I have owned and Android phone before and have used many others, and i have hated them all. The iPhone works best for me.

      • Asher6ixx

        I think you are WAY off on a few points. I don’t think apple has much direction now with Jobs gone. Beats, Passbook, Siri, fingerprint scanner, wearables, etc. This is full circle from when Jobs left in the past and Apple almost died.

      • Lestat

        iOS 7 design was awful in your opinion! Touch ID is unnecessary in your opinion (i guess that is why samsung added one in their new devices) and iOS 8 brings a lot of changes (some inspired by other OS but that is fair!) I don’t think Android is moving more quickly than iOS when I see their last updates.

      • Asher6ixx

        I don’t understand why you are pulling Samsung into this? I actually don’t care for Samsung. I use a Nexus 5. I also used an iphone for a short period of time before that. But I strongly disagree with you saying that Android isn’t moving faster than iOS. I think the vast majority in the tech world would side with me on that.

      • Pradeep R

        I am not an Apple hater, nor an Android lover. I am simply a technology lover. I came across this site accidentally and was stunned with the amount of hate and provocative headlines in the website. This is pathetic journalism and if other sites are doing the same, the same applies to them as well

      • TJ

        Well 95% of the planet doesn’t love technology, they love what technology can do to make their lives better. Just like 95% of the world doesn’t cut their own hair. They pay to get it done my an expert so that they can get on with their lives and do the things important to them. I hope this helps widen your view. Android has it’s place, but it’s not in the masses, it should be for the ultra-techs. The fact that the masses use it based on price (since they give away their identity to Google to subsidize the cost) is the real problem. You save $400 on a smartphone, but lose your privacy to Google forever. That’s a pretty cheap $400 in my opinion…

      • Pradeep R

        Well, assumptions are different from facts. To think that everyone is buying an Android phone because of price shows your lack of understanding about the market. Iphone 4, 4s costs less than many Android phones globally, but still people are buying those Android phones instead of those over hyped iphones. In countries where there are carrier contracts, price factor becomes even more insignificant and yet people are buying Android phones. They do it because of the functionality Android offers, choices it offer, freedom it offers, power it offers. Apple is no saint but a greedy company just like evry other one out there

      • Lestat

        iPhone is still one of the top selling phone every year so i guess that is because it is not powerful or functional! It is as powerful or functional for many people as many great Android phone. Most people besides tech people use their phone without any personalisation… They just want a phone that works great which both Androir ans iOS can provide equally!

    • Hildebrand
  • Matt Sokolinski

    It show how sheaps are desperate to get an iphone. iphone 5s is nearly £600 in the UK, iphone 4s 8GB is £350 (OMG!!!) which is more than Moto X, Nexus, or xperia z compact.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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