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Apple Fails To Mention That It Sold Fewer Phones Than BlackBerry

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance on the company's earnings call in October to declare that "Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) outsold RIM." But the company hasn't been able to brag about that since, including today when it announced its latest iPhone figures.

To be sure, the company's second-quarter results posted today were strong, and to date, it has sold a respectable 21 million iPhones; and will hit 1 billion downloads from the App store in the next few hours. But iPhone sales for the past two quarters have not been able to touch the volumes experienced by Research In Motion's BlackBerry.

Here's the breakdown:

?In Apple's Q4, it sold 6.9 million iPhones, beating RIM's 6.1 million phones. ?In Apple's Q1, it sold 4.36 million iPhones, or less than RIM's 6.7 million phones.?In Apple's Q2, it said today it sold 3.79 million iPhones, or less than half of RIM's 7.8 million sales.
A couple of disclaimers on why these figures may not be entirely fair after the jump?

Even though Jobs started it, there's a few reasons why these comparisons aren't exactly comparing apples to apples.

First, in the fourth quarter when Apple first beat RIM (NSDQ: RIMM), there was likely pent up demand for the newly released iPhone 3G, which helped bump up iPhone sales temporarily. Second, the two companies have different financial periods. So, while Apple reported its second quarter today ended March 28, RIM's most recent period was its fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31 (and would therefore include the busy holiday period). And finally, many expect Apple to release a new iPhone this summer, which may be causing customers to delay making any purchases until they know for sure. That probably also explains the sequential drop in iPhone sales. While iPhone sales jumped more than 100 percent year-over-year, Apple sold 15 percent fewer iPhones compared to the prior period.



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