Tablets and smartphones smash Christmas records

Tablets and smartphones smash Christmas records
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More than 17 million Apple and Android devices, with tablets outpacing smartphones, were activated on Christmas Day, smashing last year’s record by more than 2.5 times.

Christmas Day is the largest single activation day of each year, as consumers unwrap new smartphones around the world. This year was no different, with research revealing the final week of 2012 was the busiest for device activation and app downloads since Apple and Android smartphones first went on sale. Mobile analytics company Flurry predicted that by the fourth quarter of 2013, for the first time the app market will see two billion downloads in a week.

Tablet activations were greater than smartphones, also a first. Flurry said typically smartphones outpace tablets by a rate of 4:1 but 51% of iOS and Android devices activated on Christmas Day were tablets. Peter Farago, vice-president for marketing at Flurry, said: ‘The big winners were Apple iPads, Apple iPad minis and Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in tablets. Amazon had a very strong performance in the tablet category, growing by several thousand per cent over its baseline of tablet activations over the earlier part of December.’

Flurry found 17.4 million Apple and Android smartphones were activated on Christmas Day, almost a threefold increase on the 6.8 million devices activated on 25 December 2011. The activations were substantially up on the baseline for December 2011, when an average of four million devices were set up each day. The sheer volume of devices activated on Christmas Day had a knock-on effect on app downloads. On 25 December, 328 million apps were downloaded, but in the week following Christmas Day, 1.76 billion apps were bought from Google Play and Apple’s App Store. This was up 65% on the weekly average for December 2012.

China stretched its lead over the UK as the second biggest market for apps. The Asian country downloaded 183 million apps in the week following Christmas Day, compared with 132 million in the United Kingdom. During the same period in 2011, China downloaded 99 million apps, compared with 81 million in the UK. The US remained the largest app market, accounting for 34.3% of the global market, with 604 million downloads during the Christmas week.

Farago added that 2013 will see one billion app downloads a week become the norm –  which became a regular occurrence towards the end of last year. He said: ‘Following a year where Google and Apple drove unprecedented adoption of mobile devices, Facebook declared itself a “mobile” company, and Amazon and Microsoft both made significant investments into mobile computing, we look forward to continued record-breaking adoption of smart devices and applications.’

Author: Graeme Neill

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