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By the end of this year, the number of Apple smartphones sold exceeded 1.2 billion. The company feels great in the market and releases 4-5 new models annually.

To the point: What is the best iPhone to buy at the end of 2022

However, not all devices are successful, as evidenced by sales statistics. Now let’s look at all the models of apple smartphones and figure out which ones sold better and which turned out to be unsuccessful.

The first iPhone sold the most modest circulation

iPhone 1st generation: 6.1 million pieces

iPhone3G: 25 million pieces

iPhone 3GS: 35.6 million pieces

This is not surprising, because the gadget became the first Apple smartphone and it was very difficult to predict the future popularity of the entire line. The Cupertino team had not yet established 100% logistics chains and production processes. The gadget was officially sold only in 16 countries, and the rest had to rely on resellers.

The first generation iPhone went on sale in the summer of 2007, and was discontinued a year later. So the oldest iPhone was sold in the most limited edition and because of this it is now considered a collector’s item.

The next two generations, although they were released in a controversial design, were already setting the trend in the market. Cupertino launched an app store App Storeexpanded the geography of sales and began to seriously invest in marketing.

Budget models have always sold poorly

iPhone 5c: 24.6 million pieces

iPhone SE 1st generation: 30.2 million pieces

iPhone SE 2nd generation: 47.3 million pieces (smartphone review)
iPhone SE 3rd generation: 19.1 million pieces (still for sale)

The following are all budget models of Apple smartphones of different years of release. Cupertinites have always sold flagship smartphones and periodically “look” into the middle price segment. Almost all such attempts can hardly be called successful.

Gadgets from more affordable product lines overtook the first model in terms of sales, but in the general list they are in the last group. The worst seller was the iPhone 5c in a plastic case with branded “leaky” covers. Things are a little better for the first iPhone in the SE lineup.

The 2022 model, although it sold one and a half times better than its predecessor, still did not reach up to 50 million sold gadgets. As of mid-autumn of this year, the newest iPhone SE 2022 has sold 19 million units. The gadget is still relevant and is being produced in full, but the sales dynamics are not encouraging.

This model will fall in price in the next year and, possibly, will be compared in sales with its predecessor.

Hits of the Steve Jobs Era

iPhone 4: 50.7 million pieces

iPhone 4s: 60.1 million pieces

During the era of Jobs’ leadership, the Apple smartphone quickly gained popularity. Each next model always sold better than the previous one.

Steve’s latest smartphone was iPhone 4and a day after Cook’s presentation iPhone 4s Jobs has passed away. Smartphones that were produced between 2010 and 2014 showed good sales results and laid the foundation for future success.

Many still consider these devices the most beautiful apple smartphones.

First models in frameless design

iPhone X: 63 million pieces (our review)

iPhone XR: 72.1 million pieces (review)
iPhone XS/XS Max: 78.7 million pieces (2018 review)

iPhone 11: 63.2 million pieces (our review of the device)
iPhone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max: 96.3 million pieces (our review of gadgets)

The first global redesign of the iPhone in 2017 turned out to be successful. The flagship smartphone received a lot of chips and technologies that are still relevant.

The next two generations of Cupertino experimented with screen size, body colors and the number of cameras, but at the same time did not change the appearance and main design features of the models.

Each device sold well, but, unfortunately, it was not drawn to the role of an unconditional hit. Users smoothly switched to a frameless design, and sales “spread out” among five similar gadgets.

The gadgets described below evoked more emotions and more often became a desirable purchase.

Real hits of their time

iPhone 5: 146.2 million pieces

iPhone 5s: 164.5 million pieces

When the Cupertinians first increased the diagonal of their smartphone, the gadget became a real hit and sold well. At first, users warmly welcomed the increased “five”, and then snapped up the improved 5s model like hot cakes.

Against this background, sales of the budget iPhone 5c in a bright plastic design fade.

It is curious that the iPhone 5 was produced for only a year, but the model iPhone 5s continued to roll off the assembly line for three years. Only in 2016 did she give way to iPhone SE 1st generation in the same building.

Successful models with good sales

iPhone 7/7 Plus: 159.9 million pieces (our review)
iPhone 8/8 Plus: 124.7 million pieces (smartphone review)

Both devices are based on iPhone 6 from 2014. However, they managed to collect an excellent box office and get into the top of the best-selling smartphones. Do not forget that iPhone 8 at the same time came out in the shadow of a more sophisticated iPhone Xbut eventually outperformed him and a couple of the next smartphones.

In the “seven”, the successful combination of filling, camera and perfected to the ideal appearance became the key, and the “eight” escaped due to a more affordable price tag against the background of frameless models.

iPhone models with cheat stats

iPhone 12 (all models): 250 million pieces

iPhone 13 (all models): 210 million pieces

iPhone 14 (all models): 91.5 million pieces

In recent years, Cupertinians have realized that each model individually does not demonstrate outstanding sales figures. Cook and the company decided to issue statistics for all 4 devices presented at one presentation.

Apparently, reports to investors look more profitable this way, and the press does not smash sales figures to smithereens against the background of the company’s older devices.

The numbers are really outstanding, but it would be much more interesting to find out the statistics in the context of devices and track the most popular iPhones of the last three years. But we have what we have. “Dvenashki” and “trinashki” are in the top, and the four models of the outgoing year are starting to get close to their first hundred.

The real kings of the iPhone line

iPhone 6/6 Plus: 174.1 million pieces (smartphone review)
iPhone 6s/6s Plus: 224 million pieces (our review)

If we consider the models separately, it is iPhone 6 is considered the best-selling apple smartphone. It is curious that the “six” is still the thinnest iPhone in the line.

It turns out that the peak of sales in the iPhone lineup happened with an increase in screen size. This is exactly what users expected and wanted. They first showed dedication to the company after moving to 4-inch displays in iPhone 5and then simply demolished all models from the shelves iPhone 6/6 Plus with 4.7- and 5.5-inch matrices.

Neither the change in design in the future, nor the emergence of new cameras or other chips made us buy new models of apple smartphones in such a massive way.

These gadgets are still massively found in the secondary market and in the hands of an undemanding user will become a tolerable smartphone.

This is how each specific gadget model showed itself in the history of our favorite iPhones. Some “made cash registers” and became legends, while others failed miserably and were quickly forgotten.

I still have a working “six” lying around in my desk, which can be safely considered the best-selling iPhone to date. It is interesting which of the gadgets you remember and which were bought in vain.





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The grass used to be greener and iPhones sold better.

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