The first thing many people do after receiving a new tablet or smartphone for Christmas is to immediately go to the app stores to download software and games. Based on those downloads, it looks like Apple had a big Christmas, according to app analytics firm Flurry, which looks at those downloads to determine which brands of smartphones and tablets were the most popular gifts.
According to Flurry’s data, 51.3 percent of mobile devices activated in the week leading up to and including Christmas were from Apple, compared to 17.7 percent from Samsung and 5.8 percent from Microsoft.
Flurry provides analytics for more than 600,000 apps, so although its data isn’t quite as accurate as device activations reported by Google and Apple, it’s likely to be pretty close. Still — there’s the possibility the apps Flurry tracks are more likely to be downloaded by iOS users than Android users, for instance. It’s also important to keep in mind that although Flurry’s stats are global, December 25th is not an important gift-giving day in most parts of the world, so the data will be skewed towards Western markets.
The data suggested that large phones were significantly more popular this Christmas than in years past, most likely due to both the popularity of the iPhone 6 Plus and rising screen sizes. Last year, Flurry estimated that 4 percent of new devices had screens between 5.0 and 6.9 inches. This year, 13 percent of new devices activated on Christmas can be categorized as a “phablet,” with their growth largely coming at the expense of tablets.
The Flurry report also marks a good showing for Microsoft and its line of Lumia phones running Windows Phone, coming in third behind Apple and Samsung with 5.8 percent of total devices activated in the week leading up to Christmas. That’s significantly higher than the 2.7 percent worldwide shipment market share for Windows Phone estimated by International Data Corporation earlier this month.
Flurry estimated that app downloads are 2.5 times higher on Christmas than on an average day in December.