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The best-selling Android phone was crushed by a familiar foe in Q1 2021

Samsung, HUAWEI, and Xiaomi's offerings failed to dent the iPhone 12 series' dominance.

Published onMay 21, 2021

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs iPhone 12 Pro Max camera bright
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
iPhone 12 Pro Max (L), Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (R)
  • Apple dominated the smartphone market in terms of revenue share and volume share in Q1 2021.
  • Android phone makers struggled to keep up with the iPhone maker in both metrics.
  • Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra was the most lucrative Android phone in Q1 2021, while the Redmi 9A was the biggest by volume.

The smartphone industry set a global first-quarter revenue record in 2021, as most of the world slowly emerged from the pandemic. However, one company dominates both the revenue and volume charts.

According to Counterpoint, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 Pro were the top smartphones in terms of revenue share in Q1 2021. Apple dominated the top ten list, with five smartphones capturing a combined 38% chunk of revenue. Apple’s dominance here is understandable, with three iPhone 12 models on offer debuting for ~$700 and above. Counterpoint also attributes “pent-up demand” and a later launch for the line’s success.

The top-performing Android smartphone by revenue was a Samsung flagship. The Galaxy S21 Ultra charted fifth, claiming 3% of the revenue pie. The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus also featured, grabbing a combined 3% between them.

Interestingly, we find a HUAWEI device on the chart, too. The pricey HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro was the eighth-most lucrative phone in terms of revenue share in Q1 2021, a stark contrast to HUAWEI’s recent ill fortunes in the smartphone market as a whole.

Xiaomi’s budget phones impress

Redmi 9 device photo 11
Gary Sims / Android Authority

Apple also dominates the best-selling phones by volume chart. The iPhone 12 topped the lot, claiming a 5% stake of this pie in Q1 2021. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 11 followed closely behind.

Notably, the best-selling Android phone by volume in Q1 2021 wasn’t a Samsung but a Redmi. The Redmi 9A and Redmi 9 claimed a combined 3% of the volume share in the quarter, placing fifth and sixth. These models proved highly popular in China and India, per Counterpoint. The Redmi Note 9 also charted, highlighting Xiaomi’s dominance in the sub-$150 segment.

The only other Android OEM to chart was Samsung, with three mid-tier Galaxy A entries. The Galaxy A12 was the firm’s biggest seller, charting in seventh and capturing 1% of the volume share. The Galaxy A21S and A31 also placed ninth and tenth, respectively. These devices were buoyed by demand in India, LATAM, and MEA, according to Counterpoint.

While these charts don’t tell the whole story of the global smartphone industry, it does suggest that Apple continues to make more cash per device than its Android rivals.

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