iPhone 15 Pro Max Was the World’s Best-Selling Smartphone in Early 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max was the top-selling smartphone in early 2024, according to analysts.
  • This was the first time any Pro Max reached the top spot.
  • Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra was the best-selling Android phone.

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max was the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first quarter of 2024, according to Counterpoint Research.

Analysts estimated that the large flagship phone represented 4.4% of global sales. This was the first time any Pro Max model topped the best-selling smartphone charts, researchers said.

The regular iPhone 15, 15 Pro, and 14 occupied the three spots in the charts. Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra was the best-selling Android smartphone with 1.9% of tracked sales.

The higher demand for these flagships represented a “premiumization” trend, Counterpoint said. Seven out of the top 10 phones cost $600 or more. This was also the first time every high-ranked phone was 5G-capable.

For Apple, Pro-badged phones have jumped from 24% of sales in early 2020 to more than 60% four years later. Samsung, meanwhile, both launched the S24 early in the year and pushed its generative AI features to great effect.

The analyst group credited the shift in best-selling devices to a maturing smartphone market. Customers are keeping phones for longer as the differences between iterations get smaller. This keeps their phones relevant for longer, Counterpoint said.

The firm expected this trend to continue as phone makers shrank their lineups to focus on fewer but more powerful models.

As with the year before, no brand besides Apple or Samsung entered the top 10. This didn’t mean that rivals sold poorly, however.

Apple has been struggling in China as competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi thrive. Rather, the data reflects the effectiveness of the companies’ strategies. Apple focuses on just a handful of iPhone models that cater to high-end fans. Samsung has a much wider selection, but it benefits from having both the most popular Android flagships as well as global ubiquity for its device line.

Other companies are chasing the premium market. Google is reportedly shaking up its strategy for the Pixel 9, with both mid- and large-sized Pro versions coming in the fall.  Although this isn’t likely to significantly change the best-selling smartphone rankings, it could add some diversity to a space where only a few major brands typically succeed.