Forget iPhone and Redmi, this Samsung handset was the best-selling smartphone of 2021

  • Samsung shipped over 51.8 million units of the Galaxy A12 globally in 2021
  • Apple sold around 201 million iPhones in 2021
  • Around 9 million units of foldable smartphones were shipped last year

Samsung Galaxy A12 was the world’s most popular smartphone in 2021, according to a report by research and advisory group Omdia. The Samsung Galaxy A12 sits on the top of the list for last year, followed by Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. This is interesting since the Apple flagship phone’s base unit is usually the best-selling model. Still, it’s usually an Android smartphone that dominates the smartphone market in the budget smartphone area. Apple doesn’t ship an iPhone at this price bracket, at least for now. This year, the most popular smartphone title goes to Samsung Galaxy A12, a Rs 13,999 smartphone(base unit).

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Another report from Omdia reveals that the foldable smartphone segment saw a growth of 309 percent in 2021 over the preceding year. The foldable smartphone segment in 2021 sat at around nine million units shipped.

The most popular smartphones in 2021

Most shipped smartphone in 2021

The list shared by Omdia revealed Samsung Galaxy A12 at the number one spot. The only other Android smartphones on the list are Xiaomi Redmi 9A at number five and another Samsung phone — the Galaxy A02 — sitting at number ten. The second runner-up on the list is Apple’s iPhone 12, followed by iPhone 13. The Pro models of the iPhone 12 and 13 take number eight and nine sport on the list, and the Pro Max models on six and seven spots, respectively. The iPhone 11 also makes it to the list, taking the fourth position.

Why Samsung Galaxy A12 is number one on the list

Samsung Galaxy A12

For starters, the Samsung Galaxy A12 comes at an affordable Rs 13,999 price tag for the base 4GB RAM/64GB storage unit. The real peg here is the mega 5,000mAh battery, a 48MP quad-camera setup, a dedicated microSDXC slot, and a 3.5mm jack. All these things in one phone aren’t common for most smartphones available in the affordable segment, primarily in western markets.

Samsung Galaxy A12 specifications

  • 6.5-inch HD+ display
  • Exynos 850 SoC
  • Up to 6GB RAM, 128GB storage
  • Android 11 with OneUI Core on top
  • 48MP + 5MP + 2MP + 2MP
  • 8MP front-camera
  • 5,000mAh battery, 15W fast-charging

309 percent YoY growth in foldable shipments

Foldable smartphone by model 2021

According to Omdia, foldable smartphone sales volume climbed fast in the second half of 2021, with yearly foldable smartphone shipments hitting 9 million units in 2021, up 309 percent. In the second half of 2021, 8 million foldable smartphone units were sold, accounting for 89 percent of total shipment for the year.

According to a report from IDC, foldable devices will see healthy growth for at least three more years. In 2021, around 9 million foldable smartphones (fold and flip) units were shipped, which is a 264.3 percent increase over the 1.9 million units shipped in 2020, all thanks to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Fold 3. Furthermore, the report also predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.9 percent in the next three coming years, reaching 27.6 million units in sales by 2025.

Foldable smartphone by model 2021

Although the IDC report shows a promising figure of 27.6 million unit sales by 2025, it is still a measly 1.8 percent of the total shipments in the smartphone market. There is no denying that the traditional candy bar form-factory smartphone can be a bit outdated for many over a newer and fancy foldable design. However, it will be interesting to see brands’ and consumers’ preferences between foldable and flip space.

The flip form factor was a fan favourite in 2021, as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 bagged the CES 2022 Innovation Awards Best of Innovation and one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2021. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 saw a massive demand at a considerable price of Rs 84,990 compared to the whooping Rs 1,49,999 price tag of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Key Specs

Samsung Galaxy A12
MediaTek Helio P35 | 4 GBProcessor
6.5 inches (16.51 cm) Display
48 MP + 5 MP + 2 MP + 2 MPRear camera
8 MPSelfie camera
5000 mAh Battery
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Samsung Galaxy A12 Price
Rs. 11,759
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Rs. 12,649
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Rs. 12,999
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Review Summary

Expert Rating



  • Good battery life
  • Daylight photography is good


  • Chipset could have been better
  • Higher-resolution panel could be used
  • Still on Android 10
  • Night photography is average
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Samsung Galaxy A12 Video