Apple’s iPhone 11 STILL Nearly As Popular As iPhone 12

Apple’s iPhone 12 has been out for almost a year now, so you’d think it would be the most searched for iPhone. And it is – but just not by as much as you’d think…

After almost 12 months of market, Apple’s iPhone 12 has been selling exceptionally well. The iPhone 12 was Apple’s first 5G iPhone and it replaced the exceedingly popular iPhone 11 range.

But according to global search data, the iPhone 12 is only marginally more popular than the iPhone 11.

iPhone Popularity By Model

Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 13 – or iPhone 12s, as it might be called – I decided to do some data mining on the search volumes and interest around Apple’s last two iPhone releases.

The iPhone 11 has been consistently popular, more or less constantly, across the last 12 months. The iPhone 12 enjoyed a massive spike around its launch and release, but interest has now waned considerably.

The iPhone 11 is Still Wildly Popular Choice In Most Regions

Apple’s iPhone 11 STILL Nearly As Popular As iPhone 12Pin
iPhone 11 (BLUE) & iPhone 12 (RED)

As you can see in the data sets, the iPhone 12 is the more popular of the two phones in most western countries – the USA, UK, most of Europe, and Australia.

The iPhone 11, meanwhile, is more popular in countries like Russia, South America, and the South Pacific.

And the reason? It is most likely down to pricing. When Apple releases a new iPhone – in this context, the iPhone 12 – the price of its previous model, the iPhone 11, goes down.

This reduction in price, compacted by retailers and networks pushing out amazing deals for the older phones, causes an uptick in sales and adoption, especially in developing markets.

Similarly, not all regions have 5G just yet – this could be another reason why the iPhone 11 remains so consistently popular.

Why would you get the iPhone 12, and pay more for it, if you could not access 5G networks in your country?

Buying Older iPhones Means Cheaper Deals

I know from my sources at networks that more and more punters in the UK are opting to buy the outgoing iPhone flagship over the newer model because they cost less.

For instance, you can pick up the iPhone 11 Pro Max – a truly amazing phone – for way less money than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

My source is from the UK, but I imagine the trend is much the same in the USA and elsewhere too.


People like getting as much value for money as they possibly can. This is a universal trend.

And if you’re not fussed about 5G, as many people aren’t, then saving yourself hundreds of quid by getting a slightly older iPhone makes a lot of sense.

You do not get 5G where I live, so I can certainly see the appeal here. Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max is an utterly crazy-good phone. And it will be for years to come.

And with contract deals for that phone now so low, it makes total sense that Apple’s iPhone 11 lineup would be almost as popular as the iPhone 12, even at this point during 2021.

I wonder how if we’ll see a similar trend next year with the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 13?

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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