Windows Phone Losing Ground? iPhone Flat? Here's Why I Don't Believe the Numbers

Here’s an odd situation. I think Seattle PI’s got this item wrong even though:

1. I do not dispute the ComScore data on which the conclusion is based
2. I do not know whether Windows Phone 7 does or does not continue to lose ground as its predecessor, Windows Mobile, did.

Windows Phone 7 not reversing Microsoft’s mobile slide

The Seattle PI’s conclusion is based on this ComScore report.

comScore Reports January 2011 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share

It shows the following up or down tick for the following platforms when comparing Oct. 10, 2010 smartphone subscribers to Jan. 11, 2011 subscribers.

Google: +7.7%
RIM: -5.4%
Apple: +0.1%
Microsoft: -1.7%
Palm: -0.7%

Microsoft has not released sales figures so far. Windows Phone became available in Europe in October. It was released in November 2010 in the U.S. So, ComScore’s timeframe would compare Windows Mobile to Windows Phone subscribers. Apple did, however, release sales figures for the quarters ending in September and December 2010. Note that Apple’s numbers are worldwide sales while ComScore only looked at U.S. data.

Apple reported the following sales figures last year:
Q4 2010: 14.1 million iPhones sold
Q1 2011: 16.24 million iPhones sold

This is a 15% increase between the two adjacent quarters. Now, it may be that U.S. iPhone sales lag other countries. But, I find it hard to believe was at the 0.1% growth level between the two quarters ComScore measured.

Given this potential discrephancy for the iPhone, I am not inclined to believe that the other figures are correct. I do not know what comScore measured. But, in the case of the iPhone, it was definitely not unit sales.