A story has been doing the rounds over the last day or so revealing that the iPhone 4 has fallen out of online comparison site uSwitch's monthly bean-count of the Best Mobile Phones, dropping three places from last month.
Leaving aside the fact that February is still not over, this month's dramatic fall – from third to sixth in the rankings, if you must know – is being seen as a portent of doom for the now-ageing iPhone, especially with all those new phones we saw at MWC on the way.
Currently making a clean sweep of the top of the chart is the HTC Android-powered trio of the Desire, Desire HD and the plucky entry-level Wildfire, with the BlackBerry Curve 8520 and the Samsung Galaxy S also now topping Apple's finest.
Switch to the weekly view and things appear even worse for the iPhone, as the latest reckoning, published on Monday, shows the iPhone down in eighth spot. Surely the end is night and Apple's time is up?
Perhaps not. That same weekly chart lists the Nokia 1800 three places above the entry-level 16GB iPhone in fifth spot. Now, Nokia's had enough bad press recently that we're not going to go out of our way to bash the utterly unoffensive 1800, but it's safe to say it wouldn't rank above the iPhone on any sane person's list of 'Best Mobile Phones'.
Take a closer look and uSwitch's list is simply a ranking of the devices that people a) search for the best deals on the most, and b) see the most sales based on those searches. On uSwitch itself, not any other site.
So all the list really shows is which phones people are most successful in finding the biggest bargains on – on one single site. The iPhone's incomparable brand value means it simply isn't subject to as many 'hidden deals' as other handsets. At Mobot we scour the web for the best mobile deals every single day, and in two months have yet to unearth a single iPhone bargain. Why? Because Apple's phone is desirable enough that nobody needs to discount it.
Another point: look again at that trio of HTC handsets topping the charts. The Desire and Wildfire have both just had their replacements announced, while the new Incredible S is so similar to the Desire HD you can practically include it in the mix too. In other words, three handsets that have just had newer-generation replacements named. Of course people are looking for good deals?
Come June when the iPhone 5 is announced (hopefully), we'd certainly not be surprised to see the iPhone 4 back near the top of the charts on uSwitch, as people will be thinking they might finally be able to afford one now that it's officially older tech.
Or maybe they should just settle now for a Nokia 1800. According to uSwitch it's a better mobile phone.