According to a new report, the most popular smartphone in the world for the year of 2021 wasn’t an iPhone, or a high-end Android phone, but rather Samsung’s affordable Galaxy A12.

Given its smaller lineup and immense popularity, Apple’s base-tier iPhone is usually the phone most people would guess is the top-selling in any given year. In the high-end space, that’d be correct, too, but Android dominates the budget space, and that usually leads to one of the top-selling phones of each year being a more affordable device.

In 2021, the most popular smartphone was apparently Samsung’s Galaxy A12, according to Omdia. That’s a device that retails for around $180 in the United States, and one of the most affordable devices in Samsung’s entire lineup. There were two other budget Android phones that made it into the top ten, with the Galaxy A02 and its roughly $140 price taking the number 10 spot, and the Xiaomi Redmi 9A with its $80~ price taking fifth place.

Apple, meanwhile, took every other slot in the list, with iPhone 12 being the company’s most popular 2021 device. iPhone 13 and iPhone 11 fell just behind, with Pro and Pro Max models further down the list. Given that all of Apple’s devices on this list cost $600 or more, it really cements how Android’s market share is built in large part on the back of super-affordable devices that Apple simply doesn’t compete with.

But it does seem there’s one area where Android is making growth in the high-end space. Omdia further reports that foldables had a huge year in 2021, with around nine million units shipped during 2021, up 309% from the year prior.

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of these sales took place in the second half of 2021, with a whopping 89% of shipments during the second half. This is thanks in large part to the success of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 and more so the Galaxy Z Flip 3, with the latter having resonated with customers thanks to its more affordable price point and better durability. Samsung apparently holds 88% of the foldable smartphone market at this point.

Apparently, Samsung shipped around 4.6 million Galaxy Z Flip 3 devices and 2.5 million Fold 3 devices. According to this report, no other foldables came close to those numbers, with Huawei’s Mate X2 in third place at 0.5 million units.

The report expects the foldable market to grow to around 14 million units this year, and to 61 million units by 2026 (around 3.6% of the total smartphone market).

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Ben Schoon

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