Top 10 revenue generating-smartphones for Q1 2021 – Huawei has a spot

iPhone 12

The global smartphone revenue for the first quarter of 2021 exceeds $100 billion which is quite a fortune. Of course, the major manufacturers have a huge chunk of this revenue and set a quarterly record. According to Counterpoint, Apple’s iPhone 12 series accounts for one-third of the entire smartphone industry’s revenue in the first quarter of 2021. The top 10 revenue-generating smartphones in the first quarter of 2021 were from Apple and Samsung.

The top 10 revenue-generating smartphones

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 11
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • Samsung Galaxy S21
  • Huawei Mate 40 Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy S21+
  • iPhone SE 2020.

These top 10 revenue-generating smartphones account for nearly 46% of the total global smartphone revenue. However, these top 10 models only account for 21% of the global smartphone sales. In other words, the above models have a greater advantage in the high-end market (>$400). The smartphones in this price tag account for 65% of global smartphone revenue in Q1 2021. In some regions, users are more inclined to buy higher-spec models. For example, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best-selling model in the United States, and the sales of Samsung S21 Ultra 5G also exceed the low-end models in the United States and Europe.

revenue generating smartphones

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is Apple’s biggest flagship 5G smartphone. This device was released in September 2019 and it comes with a 6.5-inch display. This smartphone comes with a 3969 mAh battery that supports 18W charging as well as Qi wireless charging. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is one of the best-selling 2020 iPhones. The starting price of this device is just about $1,059

Apple iPhone 12

Just like the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 is also a best-selling 2020 iPhone. In fact, the iPhone 12 sale is the highest among the four models in the iPhone 12 series in the U.S. The U.S. is the third-largest smartphone market globally and the huge performance of the iPhone 12 in the U.S. is having an impact globally.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Interestingly, the top three smartphones in the list of revenue-generating devices are from the iPhone 12 series. This shows that Apple’s devices are doing pretty well. Its loyal fans have been quite consistent with replacements of their old iPhones. This is the reason why the iPhone 12 series sales keep shooting up. At some point, the iPhone 12 Pro was the best-selling 2020 iPhone. However, this position is now for the cheaper iPhone 12.

Apple iPhone 11

Again, we have another Apple phone but this time, an older iPhone 11. It is surprising to see this device on this list considering that it does not even support 5G. The iPhone 11 is one of two smartphones on this top 10 list that does not support 5G. Interestingly, the other device is still an iPhone. The good iPhone 11 sales are a result of the poor performance of the iPhone 12 Mini which is not meeting up to expectation.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Finally, a non-Apple smartphone on the list, and who else will it come from if not Apple’s rival, Samsung. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G was released in January this year and it’s the top flagship in the Galaxy S21 series. It is not a surprise that this device is on this list because its sales have been massive in different markets. It is a force for Samsung and the company is gaining more ground with this flagship.

Apple iPhone 12 mini

With the presence of the iPhone 12 mini, it means that all the smartphones of the iPhone 12 series make this list. However, the iPhone 12 mini is the poorest performing smartphone in the iPhone 12 series. Apple released this device to give users with a shallow pocket an option in the iPhone 12 series. However, it appears that users even prefer the iPhone 11 to the iPhone 12 mini. The iPhone 11 is the best-selling iPhone in Q1 2020 and racks up about 24% of the total iPhone sales after the launch of the iPhone 12 series.

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Samsung Galaxy S21

Another device on this list is the Galaxy S21. Just like the iPhone 12 series, the Galaxy S21 series has a huge impact on this list. The sales of this smartphone in the U.S. are quite impressive. According to reports, the Galaxy S21 sales in the U.S. are twice as high in the first six weeks relative to the Samsung Galaxy S20. Furthermore, the Samsung Galaxy S21 strong sales ensured that Samsung records its highest Q1 smartphone profit since 2014.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

The shock entry in this list is the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. First off, Huawei has been managing its chip inventory which means that it does not produce enough models for the demand. Nevertheless, this device still racks up huge revenues for the Chinese manufacturer. Interestingly, this device is the only Chinese smartphone on this list.

Samsung Galaxy S21+

The inclusion of the Samsung Galaxy S21+ means that like the iPhone 12 series, all the models of the Galaxy S21 series are on this list. This series is the latest flagship series from Samsung and it is doing quite well too. Although the Galaxy S21+ sale is good, it is not as good as that of the Galaxy S20. Nevertheless, this smartphone brings in enough revenue to warrant inclusion on this list.

Apple iPhone SE 2020

The iPhone SE 2020 is the second 4G smartphone on this list. This device is a low-end smartphone from Apple which was released in April 2020. In the third quarter of 2020, the iPhone SE 2020 accounts for 22% of all iPhone sales in the United States. Its sales were only inferior to the iPhone 11 series (iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max) which account for 64% of the total sales in the same quarter.


All the above models except Apple iPhone 11 and iPhone SE 2020 have 5G support. This shows that 5G has become a standard indicator in the high-end market. In terms of sales volume, iPhone 12 was the best-selling model in the first quarter of this year, followed by iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro. Last year’s iPhone 11 took fourth place because it is still one of the popular choices for low-cost Apple iPhone users. The presence of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro on the list is a confirmation of the popularity of this device in China.

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