updated 06:14 pm EST, Thu December 27, 2012
Up more than 4x over daily December average, 2.5x over last Xmas
Christmas Day 2012 saw some 2.5 times the number of Android and iOS devices activated compared to the same day last year, analytics firm Flurry reports, with a staggering 332 percent increase in the number of activations on that day compared to the usual average daily activations for the rest of December. Compared to some 6.8 million mobile devices activated last year on Christmas Day, Tuesday's total was over 17.4 million units.
Flurry did not provide breakdowns by platform, but the phenomenal growth in the market is likely to benefit Apple's iOS more than Android, at least in terms of tablets. Tablets also provided the biggest surprise in the stats, showing that on Christmas Day -- for the first time -- tablet activations slightly outnumbered phone activations, showing up as 51 percent of the total number of devices activated. Smartphone activations typically take 80 percent of the mobile activations on other days.
The result confirms early surveys that shows that most demographics wanted an iPad or iPad mini this year, though the Kindle Fire HD were hinted to have reached annual highs on the day as well. The report, while not giving out specifics, said that Apple's two tablet models and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD were the big winners in tablet activations that day -- with the Fire HD achieving an activation rate of "several thousand percent" higher than is typical for the product. The Fire HD was the only Android tablet mentioned in Flurry's results, though Google's mobile OS is likely to have done much better when it comes to smartphones.
App downloads were also way up on December 25, with Flurry recording a 112 percent increase in the number of downloads compared to the December daily average, with a total of 328 million apps downloaded. Tuesday was thus an all-time record for single-day app download counts, with hourly averages around 20 million for almost the entire waking day in users' respective time zones.
The company says download levels will typically remain elevated throughout the last week of December and into New Year's Day, as people continue to explore and augment their new devices. Download counts for the overall period are expected to surpass 1.5 billion and may even reach a record 2 billion downloads by the end of the New Years holiday, which would again be an all-time record for the fast-growing industry.