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Samsung and Apple dominated the list of 2019’s best selling phones

Of the top ten phones sold worldwide in 2019, Samsung or Apple branding is on all but one of them, according to new figures from Counterpoint Research.

You may feel a sense of deja vu at this point. Haven’t we already covered this news? Kind of: that analysis was from Omdia, so consider this a second opinion. There are differences, even if the chart looks very similar at a glance.

Related: Best smartphone

For the top two, both organisations are in agreement. The iPhone XR was the best selling phone of the year, followed by the iPhone 11 with 3% and 2.1% of the market respectively. That essentially tells us one thing: the iPhone is the most popular handset, but crucially people prefer to pay less for their iOS fix. 

A graph about Global top selling smartphones in 2019 by brands and variants

You may think that buying the 2018 model over the 2019 one is an act of defiance too, but that’s more likely because the iPhone 11 was only available for the last quarter, while the XR was free to buy all year round. 

Next up the Samsung Galaxy A50 (1.8%) and A10 (1.1%) swap places compared to the Omdia stats, and there’s a new entry in fifth place: the Oppo A5 with 1.3%. The only non-Apple or Samsung handset in Omdia’s list was the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7, which doesn’t get a look in here.

Related: Best Android phones

After that, the handsets are very familiar, even if the order changes. Counterpoint has the iPhone 8 on 1.2%, followed by the Samsung Galaxy A20, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 7 on 1.1% each. The iPhone XS Max rounds up the list on 1.0%.

There’s a couple of differences there, but hardly surprising given the margins are now down to 0.1%. In any case, there was no room in Omdia’s list for the iPhone 7 or iPhone XS Max – they were replaced by the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy J2 Core.   

Perhaps more interesting than the little differences is that Counterpoint has broken down its research by country:

A picture displaying graphs of multiple cities about top selling smartphones by region in 2019

Crudely, you could generalise that south of the equator is Samsung country while the north is Apple town, although that really only applies to North America. Europe is far more Samsung friendly and in China neither company gets a look in.

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