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Did iPhone Really Outsell Android, Windows Phone & BlackBerry by 4-to-1 on AT&T?

Apple had a fantastic previous quarter and broke almost every record there is to be broken. A recent report by DailyTech (among other sites) delivered another stand out stat: the iPhone outsold the combined forces of Android, Windows Phone and the rest by a ratio of 4:1 on the US Carrier AT&T.

However, the website's analysis, which looks at smartphone sales from the major four US carriers in the last quarter, seems to be slightly skewed, as the AT&T Q4 earnings report on which the figures are partially based, might not have been entirely correctly interpretted.

The second largest US carrier announced sales of 9.4 million smartphones for the quarter, and also mentioned there had been 7.6 million 'activations' for Apple's iPhone. A number of pundits and commenters, have pointed out that an activation does not necessarily equate to a sale; Richard Gaywood of TUAW contacted AT&T to confirm this was the case:

"You're right that activations are a bit different than sales -- and activations includes things like gifted iPhones as you suggest," the AT&T representative conceded, adding "In this quarter, the number of activations from things like gifted iPhones doesn't change the math much. We aren't sharing a number, but gifted phones is a relatively small portion of total activations."

'Doing the Math', Gaywood calculates that should that 'small portion' of gifted / passed on iPhones be around 10%, the ratio of sales for Apple versus Android and the rest for the quarter would be less than 3:1, rather than the 4:1 reported by DailyTech. Still a pretty hefty share for Apple.

It should also be noted that with Apple releasing just one handset a year a sales boost in the quarter following its launch is to be expected, during the summer months iPhone sales were far lower.