In the world of consumer electronics, sales figures are the main measure of success, showing which devices and brands have managed to win more fans than their rivals. While the biggest selling gadgets are not necessarily the best in their given category, they certainly set a high benchmark to which others aspire. Here is a quick look at some of the products which have been especially popular in 2016.
Even with sales of the iPhone range falling from their peak, Apple’s most recent handset is still one of the kings of the gadget world in terms of the levels of demand it experienced in the run up to and immediately following its launch in September. With a gorgeous display, a cutting edge camera and the new A10 chipset, it is more technically impressive than any of its predecessors. Tens of millions of people around the world invested in the iPhone 7 and its big brother, the 7 Plus, suggesting that even with only relatively minor upgrades under the skin, the enduring strength of this range is its must-have status.
Sony sensibly released the slimmed-down version of its PlayStation 4 a few months before Christmas this year, giving fans plenty of time to splash out on the new, thinner version and find a place for it under their TVs. In terms of sales, the PS4 has already secured a strong lead over the Xbox One from Microsoft. By September this year a total of 47.4 million units had been shipped worldwide, with this figure set to climb steeply now that the PS4 Slim is on offer. Of course, the more powerful PS4 Pro has also just been introduced, so it will be interesting to see whether or not the user base will become fragmented, or indeed confused, as a result of its arrival. Since both consoles will be cross-compatible with all former and upcoming games, there are no real issues.
When taken as a whole, the Fitbit range of fitness trackers has had one of the biggest impacts on the gadget market in recent years, especially since the craze for smartwatches really got off the ground in 2015. Its ascent is especially impressive because it managed to rise from obscurity to forge its own brand, rather than being attached to an already successful tech firm. New models like the Charge 2 deliver a range of benefits, from interchangeable bands which allow for a degree of personalisation, to the use of a touchscreen display that is intuitive to use and simple to interact with even when out and about. Synchronisation with smartphones means that data on all your activities can easily be analysed and stored. It can even keep up with your movement while you sleep, helping you work out where any issues may lie. With five days of battery life, which is much more than most smartwatch-style models can offer, it is simple to see why Fitbit has managed to carve a lucrative niche in the market.