Nokia chose today to announce the 1.5 billionth sale of a handset running the company's Series 40 operating system — the day after Apple announced its own staggering numbers and a day before Nokia's full-year earnings are due. That compares to about 183 million iPhones sold since its launch in 2007. First introduced on the Nokia 7110 in 1999, S40 is the less famous but ubiquitous sidekick to the Windows Phone OS Nokia adopted for its smartphone platform earlier this year. The 1.5 billion number is a good measure of Nokia's reach given that there are only about seven billion people on the planet, three billion of whom still don't have mobiles phones according to Nokia's estimates (and hopes).
S40 is Nokia's great hope for its "next billion" strategy, as it looks to sell its increasingly smart feature-phone devices to people in nations where the name "Nokia" still carries significant aspirational panache. And what luck that the company's meticulous records would be so accurate as to allow Nokia to track the 1,500,000,000th sale down to the person: the lovely 21-year-old Mayara Rodrigues of Brazil who just happens to promote the S40 target demographic to a tee. Enjoy that Asha 303 Mayara, while we brace ourselves for negative growth tomorrow.