AAPL) iPhone, with a few exceptions. Second red flag: "exceptions" are qualifiers, and qualifiers are not good in a conversation that covers A eating B's lunch. I shouldn't have to hold anything "constant" either.
But Lumia Outsold iPhone!In The Wall Street Journal, Rolfe Winkler did an excellent job of putting into context something that a few Windows fanatics blew out of proportion. In its first three quarters of existence, Nokia shipped more Lumia smartphones than Apple did iPhones during that device's first three quarters on the market. That's 10.9 million for Nokia vs. "just" 5.4 million iPhones for Apple back in 2007. Heck, in its smartphone infancy, Samsung only shipped 1.5 million gadgets running Google's ( GOOG) Android operating system. In his report, Winkler pointed out several factors that make these numbers much less exciting than they appear at first glance. Initially, Apple only offered iPhone through one carrier, AT&T ( T). Plus, it was constrained by limited geography. Plus, this is a 2007 vs. 2012 comparison. That requires no explanation. Now that most of the world actually knows what a smartphone is, Apple sells about 100 million iPhones every nine months. Red flag: That's a lot more than Nokia sells. But Winkler did not include what might be the most important point. This data looks at the number of smartphones shipped, not sold. Research in Motion ( RIMM) shipped a whole bunch of product for which it later had to take massive writedowns. But more importantly, moving away from the way "shipped" vs. "sold" can impact the bottom line, even if Nokia saw twice as much traction with the Lumia as Apple did with iPhone early on, will it stick? That's all that matters. Does this 10.9 million number signal a phenomenon bubbling beneath the surface? That feels like an incredibly stupid question to ask.
However, it's worth asking. I'm not sure about Nokia management. They seem a bit more humbled and less goofy, but I would not put it past Microsoft ( MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer to use these numbers to put his foot in his mouth yet again.