iPhone 6s Is Best-Selling Smartphone Worldwide

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The iPhone 7, which Apple will likely launch tomorrow, has a lot to live up to in order to match the sales success of the company's current flagship handset, the iPhone 6s.

According to a report from market research firm Strategy Analytics, global iPhone 6s shipments totaled more than 14 million in the second quarter of this year, surpassing its nearest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, by nearly 6 million devices. Even Apple's older iPhone 6 edged out the new Samsung flagship by 200,000 shipments thanks to its popularity in Europe and developing markets.

Even though the iPhone 6s is the top-selling smartphone, it still commands a tiny sliver of the overall market—about 4 percent. And that market, dominated by lower-end Android devices, is not as robust as it once was, thanks in part to softening demand for high-end models from consumers in developed countries. Research firm IDC estimated last week that global smartphone sales will remain nearly stagnant this year, with a growth rate of just 1.6 percent compared to 2015's 10.4 percent growth.

"Growth in the smartphone market is quickly becoming reliant on replacing existing handsets rather than seeking new users," IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in a statement. "From a technological standpoint, smartphone innovation seems to be in a lull as consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with 'good enough' smartphones."

And if you believe the rumors, the iPhone 7 won't be the phone that jolts people into opening their wallets. Besides a bigger camera, the loss of a headphone jack, and a few other b-list features like waterproofing and more color options, the rumors portray a phone that is largely the same as its predecessor.

Still, it is an iPhone, and that pedigree alone will likely propel its sales. And even if it doesn't, Apple need not worry: based in part on reports of a radically new Apple handset to be unveiled next year, IDC predicts that iPhone sales will reach nearly a quarter billion units by 2020.

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