In the domain of gaming, there is no substitute for PlayStation. Not only has Sony's family of consoles sold over 400 million units but the PlayStation 2 ranks #1 with over 155 million units sold within a decade making it one of the most popular technologies the world has ever seen. The PlayStation brand pioneered disc-based electronics and has held a strong reputation for its first-party studios that excel in storytelling and pushing the envelope when it comes to making games that look so real they almost make you want to forget about the real world.
When the iMac arrived in 1998, the PowerPC-based all-in-one solution electrified the PC market. Its simplicity, wide range of included software, bold styling, and performance to price ratio was well ahead of anything else at the time. School districts across the United States quickly adopted thousands of them into their arsenal, providing access to modern technology for millions of people who would go on to be social media addicts. It would go on to sell over 8.7 million units, making it the fastest selling solution of its kind.
The Sony Walkman was a revolutionary device when it debuted in 1979. On its way to selling over 400 million units across multiple decades, it introduced mobility at a time when many people were still used to listening to music using vinyl record players, which previously was one of the most popular technologies. Within just a couple years the marketing engine of Sony had won over the minds of people across the globe, making cassettes the primary standard of music through the 80's.
During today's digital revolution it's only a matter of time before everything is digitized. That transition was perhaps most surprising in the realm of books, where Amazon led the way with its affordable line of Kindle devices that provide a book-esque experience within a small chunk of plastic. It's estimated that around 80 to 90 million Kindles have been sold, making it by far the most popular e-reader on the market.
For many years Fitbit operated with little to no competition, propelling it to the over 24 million units sold that it stands at today. Fitbit found a way to make sports and fitness more enjoyable and arrived at a time when health consciousness began its ascent to trendiness. It's remained the most popular fitness tracker on the planet, often recommended by physical therapists and doctors for people who find it exciting to stare at their pulse while running up flights of stairs.
Each of Microsoft's operating systems since Windows 95 have managed to sell tens of millions of units, and at the top stands Windows 7. Its ability to succeed as the primary system of choice for both consumers and businesses allowed it to break multiple sales records, including most units sold within a week and year. It stands strong with over 150 million licenses sold since its release in 2009, far surpassing any other operating system the world has ever seen.
In 2018 just about everyone in first-world countries carries a smartphone everywhere they go. It wasn't like this 10 years ago, though. Back then, most smartphones were incredibly expensive and too difficult to use for the average consumer. Apple broke down those barriers in 2007 with the release of the first iPhone, beginning an information age revolution that has completely changed the way societies interact and behave, replacing social outings with pictures of microwaved food. In the past 10 years more than one billion iPhones have found their way into the hands of people, and leading the pack is the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with 250~ million units sold. You can consider that arguably one of the most popular technologies in history.
The 90's were a gold rush of sorts for technology companies. The internet, affordable computers, and a goldmine of information were unlocked. There were infinite directions to go, yet Palm Inc was sold on the idea of building a handheld device that would provide many of the workflows usually only available on a full-sized PC in the palm of your hand. The result was the PalmPilot, a best-selling device that was a pre-cursor to the smartphones we have today. Having sold over 30 million units, it demonstrated that there was a demand for creating calendar events using a plastic pen, and that there was a bright future ahead for anyone who was excited about technology changing the world.
There's a wealth of competition to be found in the automotive industry. Yet, among the thousands of options people have when buying a car, the Toyota Corolla has successfully held the top position for many years. It was the first car to sell 40 million units, and that only seems to be the beginning of its dominance as the most popular car in the world. Affordable, reliable, and as mundane as a pile of rocks are just a few words that describe this transportation leader.
You could argue nothing has ever upset an industry more than Apple's iPod. At a time when consumers were spending billions on CDs and CD players, the iPod arrived like a tornado to steer things in a different direction. Within a year hundreds of millions of dollars had been siphoned from the CD industry, completely changing the sales model along with how people interact with music. With over 300 million units sold, it's one of the five best-selling technologies of all-time, and one that changed the course of history in a monumental way.