The Most Popular Cell Phones Over Time

Peyton Duplechien • 14 Oct 2021 • 3 min read

Cell phones, once a cool new invention designed to make our phones mobile, are now a regular staple taking phone calls, the internet, and more alongside us daily, nearly everywhere we go. 
Over time, we’ve seen brands and styles of cell phones rise and fall in popularity. The new must-have phone has been a focal point of conversations for nearly two decades. Some brands and styles have prevailed long over others, some…not so much. 
Let’s take a look at the most popular, the best of the best, over time. 


Nokia is a brand name the younger generation might not immediately recognize, but our Millennial and Gen X crowd will definitely notice this blast from the past. Looking to the 90s and early 00s, people everywhere were answering Nokia phones. 
Considered to be a cell phone staple, Nokia’s many models dominated world cell phone sales, even in the last two decades. 
As an industry giant, Nokia’s cell phones have topped the sales charts, with their Nokia 1100 taking charge at a whopping  255 million sales. Just below that one, the Nokia 1110 comes in at 250 million. With numbers like these, that still chart the top to this day despite their discontinued status, there’s no denying that Nokia had the phone formula figured out. While they didn’t take precedence in the third-place spot, Nokia’s other models do pepper down the rest of cell phones sales history. 

Apple iPhones

The iPhone, the big one. Surprisingly though, not the biggest. Nokia reigns supreme to this day over Apple and the iPhone. But, the iPhone does hold a candle to others on the scoreboard. Coming in at a proud 220 million sales, the Apple iPhone 6 is the third top-selling cell phone of all time. 
What made this particular model, 7 models behind the 13 at the time of this article’s creation, so popular? 
The iPhone 6 & its successor the 6s were both very successful due to several advancements, but there was one feature that seemed to stand out more than others. Phoenix Cellular suggests that “what Apple did strike upon with the iPhone 6s (or, more accurately, with the iPhone 6 a year earlier) was a slimline, lightweight chassis design that made larger screens feel convenient to carry.” Lightweight and sleekness showed that design and aesthetics seem to play a huge role in this cell phone’s great success. 


Samsung is the top dog of the android world and comes into the brand rankings in top-selling phone brands over time at number three. Actually, Samsung ties with two different Nokia phones in the number 6 phone type/model spot… the tied models are the NOKIA 6600 & NOKIA 5230 & SAMSUNG E1100 with 150 million sales. 
There are a ton of Samsung smartphones on the market right now like the Galaxy series, however the most popular model? 
It’s a candy bar phone, not a smartphone. It’s theorized that what made this version of the phone a huge success is its great battery life and again its sleek, easy to hold design. Plus, it was affordable and boasted a flashlight. 


When you think of Motorola, you might be able to instantaneously know which model was its most successful. Yes, you’re thinking correctly, it’s the Motorola Razr, V3 to be exact.  
And guess what? This phone also tied in model sales with yet another Nokia phone, the NOKIA 1600. Both came in at a commendable 130 million phone sales! However, the two phones are nothing alike. Perhaps it was just the brand recognition and the power of Nokia. Despite that, many will always remember the allure of the sleek Razr flip phone and the many customizable options it allowed. 

The Evolution of Answering to Live Answering

No matter what phone you use, it just has to work well for you and your goals. When it comes to your business, you may not even want to use your cell phone. And with modern technology and software, you have the options to create an environment that works best for you. 
You don’t have to be tied to your phone either. A live answering service, like VoiceNation, can create room in your business for you to create a work-life balance, while still keeping your phones answered 365 days a year, 24/7, nights, weekends, and holidays. We do this here at VoiceNation by utilizing our proprietary software to create custom scripts and have highly trained, 100% US-based virtual receptionists
Choose the phone and the business phone system that works best for you. 
Interested in learning more about VoiceNationReach out to one of our Live Answering Experts today or sign up for our 7-day free trial here.