Q1 2018: Apple sells 4 of the top 5 smartphones globally

Today the iPhone X was named monarch of the first quarter of 2018. Strategy Analytics named the iPhone X leader of the pack in their latest analysis of the global smartphone market. In their report, we see clearly why Google's preparing Android and Chrome with notch-friendly software adjustments. In today's reported market numbers, we see iPhone X as the clear leader in smartphone sales – by a significant margin.

You've got to go down to number 5 on the list of best-selling smartphones in Q1 to find a non-Apple device. The 5th entry on the list was Xiaomi Redmi 5A, an extremely low-priced Android device that's taken China by storm. After that, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus isn't doing particularly bad for itself.

The best-selling smartphone in the first three months of 2018 was the iPhone X with 16-million units shipped. After that, the iPhone 8 with 12.5-million units shipped, then the iPhone 8 Plus with 8.3-million units shipped. Then came the most interesting phone on the list – iPhone 7.

With the iPhone 7, we can see that the first quarter of 2017 had the phone commanding a whopping 21.5-million units. In that quarter one year ago, 21.5-million units accounted for 6.1% of the market – for one device. Here in Q1 2018, no one smartphone has that great a command over the market.

The next-best-thing is the iPhone X, which accounted for 4.6% of the market in Q1 2018. The most popular 4 smartphones in Q1 2018 were iPhones – all four combined accounted for 12.2% of the market, twice that of the iPhone 7 alone one year ago.

"Apple has now shifted almost 50 million iPhone X units worldwide since commercial launch in November 2017," said Juha Winter, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus shipped 12.5 and 8.3 million units, respectively, for second and third place. The previous-generation iPhone 7 shipped a respectable 5.6 million units for fourth place. Combined together, Apple today accounts for four of the world's six most popular smartphone models."

It's important to note that in Q1 2017, according to Strategy Analytics, Apple's two top-5 entries on this same list accounted for 11% of the market. Those were the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, and the latter of these racked up 17.4-million units shipped.

Top 5 only:

Q1 2017 Apple: 38.9-million units sold

Q1 2018 Apple: 42.4-million units sold

Top 5 as percentage of whole market:

Q1 2017 Apple: 11% of the market

Q1 2018 Apple: 12.2% of the market

The numbers tell a very, very strange story indeed. One where Apple's expansion of smartphone units makes up for an ever-so-slightly larger command of the market, but a big change to the top of said list. In any case, Apple's strategy continued to work through Q1 2018, and it'll be interesting to see how they change their ways through the next year – surely they can't keep going up?