This article was published on March 29, 2019

25-years of worldwide phone sales, mesmerizingly visualized

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25-years of worldwide phone sales, mesmerizingly visualized

Bar chart races are all the rage these days, and we couldn’t miss the chance to get involved over here at Plugged. So, uh, we did.

In our lovely chart, we mesmerizingly visualized what company sold the most phones per year from 1992 all the way through to 2017. Why? Because it’s interesting as hell.

Check it out:

Cool! Where did you get this data from?

Most of it we pulled from the very helpful Wikipedia page, “List of best-selling mobile phones.” God bless that glorious website. The rest (including BlackBerry) we pulled manually. And we did it for you.

With this in mind, these figures may not be totally precise, but does that matter? Not really, it’s just a bit of fun.

Any surprises here?

Well, I had no idea how long Samsung has been a major player in the game. From around 1998, the Korean company has been near the top of the mobile phone tree.

Something else that made me sit-up in shock was realizing how few American companies have actually been big players in the mobile phone space. Motorola was big back in the day, but this was quickly overtaken by the Finnish Nokia. Obviously, Apple took the market by storm and redefined smartphones as a category, but outside of that, America is actually pretty sparse when it comes to handsets.

Another element that’s interesting – though unsurprising if you’ve been following the smartphone market – is the sudden rise of Chinese phone manufacturers. When the bar chart hits 2015, you can see a range of Chinese companies shoot up the rankings.

Considering the country’s population, this isn’t shocking, but it is a nice visualization of our current phase: where most of the market’s innovation is being driven from the east, rather than, well, Apple I guess.

Anyway, enjoy that lovely graph and, if you’d like to see some other data represented by this, get in touch on Twitter.

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