Every year, Christmas Day sees the highest number of new device activations and app installs. In 2014, the trend continued, and once again Apple dominated the results.
In fact, more than half of device activations (51.3 percent) were for an Apple device this Christmas. This was followed by Samsung devices with 17.7 percent and Microsoft’s Nokia devices with 5.8 percent. Only Sony and LG also managed to grab more than 1 percent of new activations:
The new data comes courtesy of mobile analytics and advertising firm Flurry, which examined the 600,000 apps it tracks to understand which devices were purchased and which apps were the first to be downloaded and installed. Flurry noted that the reason Asian manufacturers Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than 1 percent share on Christmas Day was likely due to the fact that December 25 is not the biggest gift-giving day in their home markets.
As for the form-factor breakdown, Christmas 2014 saw a big jump in the number of phablets activated. In the week leading up to Christmas, 13 percent of new device activations were phablets (compared to just 4 percent in 2013):
Flurry also found what other industry watchers have been seeing throughout the year: The phablet’s popularity is coming at the expense of tablets. That said, the medium-sized phone is still favored by most consumers and saw the largest share of device activations this Christmas.
Unsurprisingly, all these new device activations resulted in the largest numbers of app installs on Christmas Day. More specifically, Flurry tracked 2.5x the number of app installs in the U.S. compared to an average day in the first three weeks of December:
Flurry pointed out that this is a notable jump given the maturity of the U.S. market. Games and messaging apps saw the highest increase in app installs on Christmas Day.
At the end of the day, this is good news for app developers. The holiday season is still a critical time to launch new apps and update existing ones, especially on iOS.