WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- It's not apples to apples for Apple (AAPL). A week ago, the media held its collective nose at the introduction of the Apple iPhone 4S. Now they are doing little but trumpeting remarkable sales numbers.

The media was not right then. And the journalists are not right now.

Perspective is in order. As readers of this space heard, the media underrated the new iPhone. But always prone to the bounce between extremes, journalists are not fully explaining its outsized strength.

The New York Times ( NYT), for example, simply celebrates the record number of orders for Apple's latest in an article titled: "Disappointment? Apple's iPhone 4S Breaks Sales Records." It starts by recounting the initial cold-shoulder-reaction by the media before "surprise, surprise," as the Times describes the Monday release of iPhone 4S sales figures.

Surprise indeed. But why? The Times doesn't say. That's too bad, as the answer is essential.

Is it that the phone is better than the media originally pegged it? Of course. But Reuters let's us know that other factors were at play. For one, the John Lennon effect. Just as Beatles album sales rose sharply in the wake of Lennon's death, iPhone sales did here. There's more - the iPhone 4S is also available in more countries and through more carriers.

Ultimately, this makes no differences in terms of sales. But it does make a difference in terms of perception of what it takes to sell. For those who thought the iPhone 4S was a disappointing advance--well, these numbers don't officially close the case. Other factors are at play. It's also important to remember these factors going forward. Unless they are duplicated (and it would be nearly impossible, considering) they are bound to make for difficult comparisons.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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