The most popular mobile phone of all time is not the iPhone or Android

New data has revealed the most popular mobile phones of the past 22 years, and the results are not what you think. While Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy range are now the mobile phones on the market, analysts from online smartphone retailer have revealed that the most popular phone since 2000 is the Nokia 1100.

The research took data from phone manufacturers from 2000 to date, looking at the number of units of each phone sold since the year of release. According to the data, the 2003 Nokia 1100 model is the most successful, with a total of 250 million units sold.

Despite only being released in 2014, the iPhone 6/6+ quickly became the second most in-demand phone, selling over 222 million units. While the iPhone 13 was launched only recently, the iPhone 6 range remained the most popular, selling more than double its peers, with the iPhone 5 selling at just 70 million units. Interestingly, the iPhone 5C / 5S, iPhone 5 and iPhone X occupy the fifth, sixth and seventh places, respectively.

Nokia 1100

Interestingly, Nokia has two of the most sought-after phones of the century, with the classic 3310 released in 2000 coming in third. Best known for its Snake II mobile game, the Nokia 3310 has sold 136 million units since its release.

The Motorola Razr V3, which came out in 2004 and bucked the “brick-like” model trend of phones with its slim and sleek foldable design, came in remarkably fourth with 130 million sales. The phone is still popular to this day, as Motorola introduced a more modern version as recently as last year.

The iPhone and Samsung Galaxy wrapped up the top ten dominant smartphones of their respective years, with Apple and Samsung having three different phones, each one behind Nokia and Motorola.

The ten most in-demand phones of the 21st century are:




year of release


Nokia 1100




iPhone 6/6 +




Nokia 3310




Motorola Razr V3.0




iPhone 5C / 5S




Iphone 5




iPhone X




Samsung Galaxy S3




Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6Edge




Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 +



Perhaps surprisingly, there was no place among the best-selling BlackBerry phones, even though these phones pave the way for free instant messaging features on mobile phones, with BBM (Blackberry Messenger) being a staple in their products between 2003-2019.

Versions earlier this century have the advantage of selling longer, and with annual updates to phone models, they give products released later a shorter selling window to catch up with best-selling products. In terms of recent releases, there are a few exciting phones with impressive sales numbers to keep an eye on. iPhone 12 was released in the year 2020 and proved to be very popular all over the market. Google Pixel 6 also has a successful launch period, and if it maintains an impressive playback rate, it could appear in the top ten list.

Most popular phones
Most popular phones

With the launch of the flagship iPhone 13 in September 2021, it will have to sell exceptionally well to capture its high-flying predecessor the iPhone 6, and it will need to surpass a quarter of a billion sales to become the best-selling phone of this century.

Kyle Wilson, Mobile Expert at, comments: “Anyone who grew up in the ’90s and early twentieth century will likely have fond memories of old Nokia phones, so it is interesting to see these proven phones as the most Popular in the last 20s. While Samsung and Apple are now two names synonymous with the smartphone market, there is no denying that old Nokia phones will continue to be iconic among certain generations.

“While iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices are undoubtedly at the top of today’s wish list; the popularity of these Nokia phones cannot be understated. With nearly one in five mobile phone owners having 1,100 or 3,310 in the years they were released, the This is an incredible achievement that no one has matched in 2021.”

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