I've always believed--from the opening shot of the Kelvin
--that Star Trek XI took place in an alternate universe from the very start. But I also think the writers left it deliberately vague enough for people who thought it was the same universe--or for people who didn't give a damn either way--to have it their way too.
No matter which route they chose, it wasn't going to please everyone, so it might have been considered something not to really worry about.
But the "alternate universe-from-the-start" approach just works on so many
levels for me personally, and really eliminates any continuity complaints I might have had otherwise...