Apple’s iPhone XR has been the best selling smartphone all year

And new 5G iPhones are predicted to lift sales even more in 2020.

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The iPhone XR has been the best selling smartphone globally this year, beating out budget phones from the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi. That statistic only accounts for three quarters, as the XR was released during Q4 2018 and didn’t have the full quarter to account for. The data comes from Counterpoint Research, which also said that the iPhone XR has been the best selling model for Apple across all regions.

Counterpoint’s list of the top 10 best-selling smartphones in the latest quarter includes three Samsung devices and a mix of other Chinese brands.

Leading the pack this year were:

  • iPhone XR
  • Samsung Galaxy A10
  • Samsung Galaxy A50
  • Oppo A9
  • iPhone 11
  • Oppo A5s
  • Samsung Galaxy A20
  • Oppo A5
  • Xiaomi Redmi A7
  • Huawei P30

“Supercycle” upgrade window — Rumors are abound that Apple will release five new iPhone models in 2020, with 5G being the main catalyst to drive sales. Wedbush Securities has released a report predicting a 10 percent year-over-year increase in iPhone sales as a large chunk of owners look to upgrade.

“We believe 200 million units could be the starting point for 5G Apple smartphone demand,” Wedbush wrote. “As roughly 350 million iPhones within the 900 million installed base of Cupertino are currently in the window of an upgrade opportunity.” That 200 million units would represent a move in iPhone sales much greater than the ~5 percent Apple has seen in recent years.

5G, 5G, 5G — 5G is still not available widely enough to be useful to most people. But carriers are moving fast and new iPhones with 5G could help further accelerate those efforts. Apple might be fearful that if it doesn’t release a phone in 2020 with 5G capabilities, customers might hang on to their old devices for another year — not great for sales.

The company is rumored to be cutting costs in the supply chain in order to keep the price in line with its iPhone 11. 5G’s faster speeds and lower latency are said to offer a wave of new opportunities in mobile computing. Apple will, of course, also be expected to include other hardware improvements in the new phones to encourage purchases.

It’s worth noting these are all analyst rumors. Apple typically waits longer than the competition to adopt new technology, and we may not see 5G iPhones in 2020 at all.