Is Microsoft talking smack or taking it?

Microsoft says the iPhone "won't catch up".

It seems that Microsoft's Scott Rockfeld was talking some smack about the iPhone at the London launch of Windows Mobile 6.1.

"We are not at all worried. We think we've got the one mobile platform you'll use for the rest of your life."

"Here lies Ted. He used Windows Mobile." Yeesh. Thanks for the creepy marketing campaign, Microsoft.

However Rockfeld was quick to dash Apple's hopes of dominating the smartphone market...

Uh, that should probably be "quick to try to dash Apple's hopes". The Macalope expects that if one were to drive over to One Infinite Loop right now, Steve Jobs wouldn't exactly be sobbing into his falafel.

"They are not going to catch up", he said before reminding us that Microsoft shifted more licences of its mobile platform than RIM and Apple did handsets put together last year.

"Shifted" should probably have been "shipped" there [in comments, shedside indicates that this is a Britishism] but, knowing Microsoft and how it uses its channels, maybe "shifted" is right. "Watch the lady! Watch the lady!"

But what's wrong with that statistic Rockfeld's running up the flag pole there? Well, he kind of sort of left out the fact that the iPhone didn't ship until mid-way through 2007.

If you look at the fourth quarter -- you know, the most recent quarter we have data for -- you'll see that Microsoft had 12% of the global smartphone market, RIM had 11% and Apple had 7%. And, the last time the Macalope checked, 11 + 7 = 18 and 18 is greater than 12 (please feel free to check his math).

Plus, the iPhone is already ahead of Windows Mobile in the U.S., all on its lonesome. And the iPhone was only getting started globally in the 4th quarter and is still only available in a handful of countries.

So, the Macalope doesn't know about it "catching up" -- maybe Apple has no plans to bring the iPhone to other countries, or maybe Apple's just a-scared of Microsoft and is getting out of the smartphone business soon -- but where and when both WIndows Mobile and the iPhone are available, the iPhone is winning hands down.

You can't fault Rockfeld for gilding the lily a bit. That's his job. But it's worth pointing out that it's not based in reality.

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