38 million, or Google will say 1 billion, those companies will simply leave out the context, and not try to make the data seem more positive than it is with a chart. Apple isn't like that. Apple loves to have that moment of pop when a chart goes up on the big display at an event to show you the cumulative iPhone sales to date.Where Samsung will simply say the number
Of course, a cumulative total will often be impressive on its own, like the fact that Apple is closing in on its 700 millionth iOS device sold, but in context, the data often betrays what a company wants you to see. For example, just looking at the "Cumulative iPhone Sales" chart that Tim Cook pulled out today, you would think that everything is amazing in iOS land, but in reality, Apple has seen sales drop for the past three quarters. Apple is used to having a dip in the quarter leading up to a new iPhone announcement, but this dip has been continuing since the iPhone 5 was released.
Apple does have reason to be hopeful, because two new carrier deals - NTT DoCoMo in Japan, and China Mobile in China - have the potential of opening up 800 million new customers to the iPhone, although the reported price tag of the iPhone 5C in China may throw a wrench in that plan.