Every year, Christmas results in the highest number of new device activations and app installs. 2015 was no different, and once again Apple dominated the results.
Just under half of device activations (49.1 percent) were for an Apple device this Christmas, down from 51.3 percent last year. This year, almost one in five were Samsung devices (19.8 percent, up from 17.7 percent). Microsoft’s mobile devices took a big hit, down to 2 percent from last year’s 5.8 percent.
Sony fell out of the top five manufacturers list, while Xiaomi made the cut for the first time. LG managed to take the opportunity to move from fifth to fourth place. Here are the top five mobile manufacturers that gained on Christmas:
The new data comes courtesy of mobile analytics and advertising firm Flurry, which examined the 780,000 apps it tracks to understand which devices were purchased and which apps were the first to be downloaded and installed. Flurry added that Xiaomi’s rise is striking, given that Asian manufacturers typically don’t see much of a jump around December 25, as Christmas is not the biggest gift-giving day in their home markets.
As for the form-factor breakdown, Christmas 2015 was similar to last year in another way: a big jump in the number of phablets activated. In the week leading up to Christmas, 27 percent of new device activations were phablets (compared to 13 percent in 2014 and just 4 percent in 2013):
In previous years, the rise of phablets came at the expense of tablets. This year, smaller-sized phones took the biggest hit.
Breaking down the numbers between Android and iOS shows a stark difference. The medium-sized phone is still favored by most iOS consumers, while Android users prefer phablets:
Unsurprisingly, new device activations result in more apps being downloaded and installed. More specifically, Flurry tracked 2.2 times the number of app installs on Christmas Day in the U.S. compared to an average day in the first three weeks of December:
Last year, the jump was 2.5 times. But this year’s is still a significant bump given the maturity of the U.S. market.
These numbers show just how important the holiday season still is for app developers. Launching a new app or releasing a significant update in time for the December push can make a big difference, especially on iOS.