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iOS-Android Smartphones and Application Downloads a Huge Hit for Christmas

Updated on January 6, 2012

As could have been expected, smartphones were the big hit during this past Christmas season. Along with tablets (see hub Amazon's Kindle Fire Tablet), smartphones appeared to be flying off the shelves from the mobile operators. Devices with the new Apple iOS and Android operating systems led the way. (see hub Android vs. Apple)

According to Flurry Analytics, between December 1 and December 20, 1.5 million new iOS and Android devices were activated. On Christmas Day 2011, 6.8 million of these devices were activated. That represents an increase of 353%. So the bottom line, Santa’s sleigh was overflowing with devices running both the Apple and Google operating systems.

What Did this Mean for Application Downloads?

So based on the above figures for device activations, then next obvious thing to look at is the number of applications that got downloaded to those devices on Christmas Day. People unwrapping those smartphone devices, tend to want to try them out immediately. This means that the Android Market and Apple App Store were two sites that got lot of visitors.

Again according to Flurry, using the same baseline period of Dec. 1 – Dec. 20, the average number of downloads of iOS and Android applications in a given day was 108 million. Looking at these same numbers for Christmas Day, December 25, 242 million applications were downloaded. That’s roughly a 125% increase for Christmas day compared to the first 20 days of Christmas. Looking at this same Christmas Day data, the number of apps downloaded per hour for every hour between 8AM and midnight was twice as much as normal. This basically means that people getting these new technology tools for Christmas got started right away in terms of using them. All day long, applications were downloaded throughout the entire day.

Post Christmas for the Application Stores are More Important than the Run-up to Christmas.

Because so many people were welcomed into the smartphone world this Christmas with new smart phones, the days immediately following Christmas become the key watch period for downloads of smartphone applications.

Comparing the first two weeks of December against the last week in December, on average, 0.75 billion applications of iOS and Android were downloaded during the early weeks in December. Now, fast forward to the last week in December and Flurry Analytics reports 1.20 billion applications downloaded. In terms of countries, the US led the way with 509 million of the 1.2 billion downloads.

That’s a lot of application downloads that took place between Christmas day and New Year’s Eve!!!!

So What Does the Future Hold

When you think about smartphones and the entire application store concept, the entire concept is still very new to the wireless industry. With that in mind, the numbers quoted above can only be expected to continue on a strong growth direction for 2012 and most likely beyond. Through social media, people let each other know about cool and useful applications which causes more people to go check out those apps.


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