If you want to argue Apple did the marketing better, and correctly judged that being seen as the innovator by rushing a crappier product to market to beat the competition by a few months was worth the tradeoffs from a business point of view, you'll get little argument from me.
OK now we have established they were first with that crucial triple. I think you are still wrong on both months and "crappier". But I wanted to argue the dates first.
1) Everyone uses glass. Presumably if plastic were better and easy to manufacture (in 2007) we'd be seeing phones with it now.
2) As far as high speed web rendering. Remember the iphone supported wifi. It also was sold exclusively with AT&T's unlimited data 3G plan. The whole point of the device was to drive up the demand for data usage.
3) Finally on high speed animations I think you would be hard pressed to find a phone remotely less laggy. This has remained true more or less to this day using a comparable interface. Vertical integration has particularly paid off here as Apple has often been able to use objectively slower hardware combined with customized OS and applications to achieve much less lag. Nokia who you have pointed to many times had horrific lag problems.
As for Nokia being the competition. In the United States Nokia wasn't the competition. Nokia USA was dismal. Nokia did not focus on the USA market. Even when the USA became interesting Nokia wasn't able to integrate Nokia USA (the sales division) into their corporate decision making many years later. As for Maemo, Maemo used a resistive touch screen and required a stylus. It did not involve the critical triple and couldn't. Nokia internally had engineers who saw the advantage of the triple but couldn't get the changes into Gnome fast enough. A failure that both the Gnome community and Nokia reacted strongly too by restructuring. Could an alternative universe Nokia have won, absolutely. But in this one they dithered didn't make critical choices when there still were two sides lost their lead, then fell behind then died. I was working with Nokia USA during those last years when they couldn't either execute or not on exploiting the gap that Apple created in enterprise phones. In the end the hardware guys ignored Elop advice on ecosystems and they focused instead on a few hardware features.
Nokia is a perfect example of how good Apple is in developing a total package that is often unappreciated by technical people. Hardwarewise even when Nokia was hemorrhaging share to Apple they were quite often from a hardware perspective better phones. They were however vastly inferior phones from a software (OS in particular) and then from ecosystem perspective. The company was directionless.
Nokia also disproves your marketing theory. Nokia lost enterprise to Apple at a time when Apple was doing anti-marketing in enterprise phones. Apple wanted RIM or Nokia/Microsoft to take the enterprise market, they refused to make the concessions that enterprise customers wanted, and still the iphone's total experience was so much superior that even when anti-marketing Apple ended up winning with the move to BYOD.
As an aside on dates, the N900 came out 2 1/2 years after the iPhone 1 and still had a keyboard and resistive touchscreen. As an aside one of the things on ecosystems that caught Nokia off guard was the power of a closed ecosystem. They had never seriously considered what a closed ecosystem done well would look like when they focused so heavily on an open ecosystem
Finally on the claim that Apple's choices were obvious let me just point you to another of your comments, "And a quality hard keyboard is still the only sane input method for people who are serious about things. A lack of a keyboard was a money saving measure, that's all." You yourself a decade after Apple's approach still don't appreciate how important lack of a keyboard is. RIM was the primary vendor who was devastated by failing to appreciate that. Android dithered but was flexible enough to catch up in time. A lack of keyboard was not a money saving feature, a good keyboard is like a $20 part and easy enough to repair (remember Apple offers repairs). What a keyboard does do is a lot of physical room, either increase the width or use up screen real estate. It also tends to allow lazy developers to not think carefully, very carefully about customizing an input method for their application at all times. What was important about the lack of the keyboard is it first allowed and then forced application designers to fully embrace the creation of mobile interfaces. Its no accident that Apple came almost immediately to dominate the war for ecosystems they understood ecosystems.