Apple iPhone 6s in hand
iPhone 6s topped the list of best-selling smartphones for 2016 Reuters

Apple's iPhone 6s beat the sales of the high-end offerings from is major rival Samsung to become the best selling smartphone in 2016.

According to IHS Markit smartphone shipment database, which keeps a record of quarterly shipment data of more than 350 mobile devices, iPhone 7 was the best seller in fourth quarter of 2016. It was followed by iPhone 7 Plus.

The figures suggest the features in Apple iPhones are the primary reason behind the strong show. Interestingly, it was not only the iPhone 7 models, but Apple also managed to show good selling numbers for the older iPhone 6s that was launched in 2015.

Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were in the fifth and ninth place respectively in the list of best-selling smartphones for 2016.

Samsung sold about 10 million S7 and S7 Edge devices last year, which is higher than the sales of S6 and S6 Edge over the same period of time. IHS said aggressive promotions helped the sales of S7 and S7 Edge.

Apart from S7 duo, there are three more Galaxy devices, which are the mid-range J series smartphones, in the list of top 10 most-shipped smartphones in 2016. According to IHS, Samsung has seen sales boost in the mid to low-end smartphone segment, compared to 2015, as a result of growth in emerging smartphone markets.

Huawei, the third largest smartphone manufacturer after Apple and Samsung, failed to make it to the top 10 list. Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has at least one phone in the list. The company reported a growth of 109% in smartphone shipment to become the fourth largest smartphone maker in terms of unit shipment.

Best-selling smartphones for 2016
Best-selling smartphones for 2016 IHS