Who sold more phones last quarter, Apple or Microsoft? Wrong -- it's Microsoft.

When it comes to phones, Apple is the 800-pound gorilla, and Microsoft is the 100-pound weakling, right? Wrong! Last quarter, Microsoft sold nearly one million more phones than Apple did. And it has the numbers to prove it.

That information came to light during Microsoft's earnings call earlier this week. And it's a result of its purchase of Nokia. In a slide detailing sales of phone hardware during the quarter, it said that it sold 5.8 million Lumia Windows Phones, and 30.3 million "non-Lumia devices." Those non-Lumia devices are what are gently called feature phones, but are really dumb phones. Nokia still has sizable feature-phone sales. That means all told, Microsoft sold 36.1 million phones in the quarter.

As Neowin points out, that means that Microsoft sold more phones than did Apple in the quarter, because Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones.

On paper, that might sound impressive. But in the real world, it means next to nothing. Nokia's market share is plummeting, and smartphones are the future, not feature phones. It's likely that last quarter will be the last time that Microsoft will outsell Apple in the phone market.

In addition, smartphones are the gift that keeps on giving, because each phone leads to additional revenue, via services such as OneDrive and Skype, or in Apple's case, the App Store. The same isn't the case with feature phones.

Still, it must be nice for once for Microsoft to have bragging rights in the mobile market. Microsoft should enjoy it while it can, because it won't happen again.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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