Windows phone is outselling iPhone, but only in a few countries

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On Wednesday, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of corporate communications Frank Shaw wrote a blog post detailing some of the Microsoft’s progress across a number of different product areas, including Windows Phone.

Among the factoids in the post was one saying that, according to a recent report from tech research company IDC, Windows Phone has shipped more than BlackBerry in 26 markets and more than iPhone in seven.

The iPhone stat seems particularly impressive. Except for one thing. The blog post neglects to mention which seven countries those are. The New York Times’ Bits Blog decided to do some digging and discovered that the stats may not be as impressive as they look at first glance.

After speaking with Kevin Restivo, an analyst at IDC, it established that the countries were Windows Phone outsold the iPhone in the fourth quarter of 2012 included Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine. The seventh country meanwhile comprises a group of small countries that IDC lumps together as the “rest of central and eastern Europe.”

In three of those countries meanwhile — Ukraine, South Africa and “rest of central and eastern Europe” — Windows Phone sold fewer than 100 000 units during the quarter.

According to Restivo, IDC also only tracks the official number of phones imported into a country. That’s especially significant four countries like Argentina, where high government taxes on have resulted in a flourishing grey market.

Restivo also said that Windows Phone tends to thrive in traditional Nokia strongholds (something HTC probably already knows but probably won’t be thrilled to have confirmed) and where there is less demand for the iPhone because high costs.

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