People couldn’t stop searching for smartphones in 2017

Since Apple released the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have changed the way people live and have dominated technology news. In 2017, new smartphone technology hasn’t excited reviewers in quite the same way, thanks in part to higher price tags. Consumers, however, remain fixated on the pocket computers that run our lives. In fact, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were the most searched technology products of 2017, according to Google.

Though the iPhone X was meant to be Apple’s big reveal this year for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, the iPhone 8 got more Google searches. Still, Apple took the crown in searches with the Nintendo Switch coming in third place. The Switch was one of only two tech products that weren’t smartphones to reach the top 10, though. Microsoft’s Xbox One X came in fifth place.


Interest in the new iPhones eclipsed all other consumer tech products with a big boost in searches following Apple’s Keynote event in September.

It seems the world can’t escape the allure of the smartphone, no matter how incremental the advances and how steep the price increases. The search trends also show a widening gap in the smartphone market will little room at the top.

Nokia appears on the list twice thanks to the brand’s return to the smartphone market and an updated version of the popular Nokia 3310 feature phone. The Razer Phone came in seventh, showing unique products geared towards gamers garner a lot of buzz. Then Oppo and OnePlus appear on the list and are the only Chinese brands to do so.

In a bit of irony, Google’s own Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are absent from the list. The new iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S8, which came in at fourth, were the only high-end smartphones to really capture people’s attention. The Razer Phone might be a top-tier phone, but still costs less than those from competitors and got a boost of interest for being the company’s debut smartphone.

Another brand absent from the search list is Huawei, China’s largest smartphone brand. Oppo owns OnePlus, meaning one Chinese company is garnering much more global searches than local competitors. Oppo is owned by BBK Electronics, which also owns Vivo, another top Chinese smartphone brand.


There’s no Google search data from China thanks to internet censorship, but it’s the iPhone X’s best market. Meanwhile, Canada, Guatemala, Argentina and Ireland appeared more interested in the Nintendo Switch than what smartphones were doing last year.

The most important thing in these search trends, though, is how good mid- and low-tier smartphones have become. The fact that smartphones with widely different specifications dominated technology searches in 2017 shows how central these devices remain to people’s lives. It’s more critical than ever before that startups think about how smartphone software dictates the perception of their products and whether that software offers as seamless an experience on a Nokia 6 as it does on an iPhone.

Featured image by Aaron Yoo.

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