mobile-bannertablet-bannerdesktop-banner

About those 3.2 million Verizon iPhone activations last quarter

There were two schools of commentary on Verizon's (vz) report last week that it activated 3.2 million iPhones last quarter, down from 4.2 million in the Christmas quarter.

"Verizon Q1 Adds: Tablets Up, But iPhones Down" was the headline on Investors' Business Daily, as if the 1 million unit shortfall was bad news for Apple (aapl).

MacRumors' headline, "iPhone Again Represents Over Half of Verizon's Smartphone Sales in 1Q 2012," set the tone on Techmeme, where most writers took the fact that the iPhone outsold all Android phones combined as bad news for Google (goog).

"Android is still winning by some metric, I’m sure," quipped MG Siegler on his Paris Lemon blog.

But as AnAAPLDay pointed out on Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board, Verizon's iPhone activations don't amount to a hill of beans in the context of Apple's worldwide smartphone sales. To drive home his point -- and get my undivided attention -- he quotes an Apple 2.0 headline from February (and posts the Asymco chart above):

"63% of iPhones were activated outside the U.S. last quarter"

Moral of the story: If you're concerned about iPhone sales in the March quarter, don't worry about Verizon. Worry about China, where the iPhone 4S launched at China Unicom's (chu) and Apple's Chinese stores in January and China Telecom's (cha) in early March. (See Overwhelmed by crushing demand, Apple halts Friday's iPhone 4S launch in China and China's Verizon gets the iPhone.)

See also the photo below:

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions