For Apple, a Holly Jolly Christmas

Apple (s AAPL), it seems, had a very nice Christmas — thanks to booming sales of its iPod touch. Apple’s App Store saw a a sharp spike in downloads during the month of December, according to results of a study conducted by Flurry Media, a San Francisco-based mobile analytics company. In 2008, when Apple’s App Store saw similar spikes during the holiday season, the company later reported strong sales of its two flagship products, the iPhone and iPod touch.

The iPod touch, in particular, seems to be enjoying strong sales this year. According to, the 8GB version of the iPhone was one of the best-selling devices during the 2009 holiday season and “Amazon customers bought enough 8GB iPod touches to play 442 years of continuous music.” Flurry’s data offers more anecdotal information about the hotness of the iPod touch.

  • App downloads on the iPod touch soared past the iPhone for the first time.
  • iPod touch 3G downloads increased by more than 900 percent on Christmas Day vs. the average of all previous Fridays in December.
  • Total iPod touch downloads (all generations) jumped by over 1,000 percent on Christmas Day.
  • iTunes gift card giving may have driven downloads to older-generation iPod touch devices.

The strong sales of the iPod touch reaffirm my longstanding belief that it’s a critical weapon in Apple’s battle against its smartphone rivals including Google (s goog). Here are some of our previous posts that you might enjoy: