Joe Belfiore denies flagging Windows Phone sales but (intentionally?) misses the point


Some wind went out of the sails of Windows Phone supporters on Thursday when Nokia announced they have only sold 8.2 million Lumia handsets, when even the analysts were conservatively expecting more than 10 million.

Now Joe Belfiore has defended Windows Phone sales on twitter, saying:

Folks who think holiday sales of WP declined are incorrect. 🙂 Activations more than doubled last holidays and increased each holiday month.

Of course that statement needs a bit of parsing. 

It says twice as many Windows Phones were activated in Q4 2013 vs Q4 2012, and that sales increased each month between October, November and December 2013.

This statement however misses the crux of the disappointment – that Nokia was able to ship more handsets in Q3 than Q4 2013.  A simple statement by Microsoft that Q4 activations exceeded Q3 activations would have more directly addressed the issue, but would then have raised concerns about Nokia’s sell-through of shipped handsets ie of they sold more and shipped less in Q4 it must mean a significant amount of Q3’s shipped handsets have not been sold.

It could very well be that Q4 2013’s numbers will be the last official ones we hear for Windows Phone for a long while, and I suspect we will have to get used to sophistry and obfuscation for what should be a simple table published every 3 months.

Do our readers, who are also investors in the Windows Phone ecosystem, also feel Microsoft should be more transparent? Let us know below.

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