Apple: an early Christmas lead
First, the figures. The Guardian has reported that GfK figures put the Apple iPhone 4S significantly ahead of all other phones in the four weeks leading up to 9 December. Taking all of the iPhone models on sale into account it actually had 37% of new phone sales in that period, whereas Nokia's much-touted Windows-wearing Lumia wasn't in the top ten at all.
So what's happening?
First it's important to bear in mind that although many people will be involved in choosing their own phone, Christmas is going to distort the market a bit. Many people will have phones bought for them and actually will have little or no say in the model.
So not only are the Apple figures going to include people who want iPhones, they're going to include people whose friends and family think they'll want iPhones.
The other issue to bear in mind is the cost of running an iPhone. Yes, there are PAYG deals going. But there are also pretty costly contract offerings running.
It would be interesting to see whether many phones get returned after Sunday once the actual running costs start to sink in for the recipients.
The other inevitable conclusion is that Nokia has failed to dent the market, which is by now so skewed towards Apple and Android that it isn't true. Nokia is going to have a hell of a 2012.