Apple Inc (AAPL) Dominated Christmas Sales, Shows Device Activations

Apple’s iPhone has been the most popular smartphone during the Christmas season, leaving Samsung far behind, according to mobile analytics firm Flurry. In the week leading up to Dec. 25, Apple devices accounted for 51.3% of all device activations, according to the mobile analytics firm. Out of the total devices activated, more than two-thirds of those devices were medium-sized smartphones.

Bigger iPhone helps Apple

Samsung was in second place with 17.7% of all device activations, and Nokia was third with 5.3%. Flurry collected the data by tracking downloads of mobile operating systems’ latest versions of  popular apps such as Instagram and Facebook between Dec. 21 and 23. According to Flurry, the data was similar to last year, as app downloads surged 150% in the week ahead of Christmas, with the highest number of downloads on that day.

Before the launch of bigger screen phones with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays, Apple faced negative views regarding the smaller screen, as the company released the iPhone 5S in September 2013 with a similar 4-inch display as its predecessors. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company shipped 39.3 million devices in the quarter ended Sept. 30 and 10 million units in the first weekend alone.

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Although sales during the Christmas week are not the sole criteria of smartphone market share and trends, Apple’s latest smartphones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, had a good month, despite a jaded holiday season for the consumer electronics industry.

Phablets gain in popularity

“While the holidays in general and Christmas in particular are not the sole indicator of the smartphone market share and trends, it is safe to say that Apple’s newly released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have had a blockbuster holiday season,” Jarah Euston, Flurry’s vice president of analytics and marketing, said on Monday.

Simply put, for every Samsung device that was activated, Apple activated 2.9 devices. For every Microsoft Lumia device activated, Apple activated 8.8 devices. Euston said on Monday. Flurry provides analytics to over 190,000 companies covering about 600,000 mobile apps.

Consumers are more inclined toward a form factor that is suitable for them rather than smart device adoption. During Christmas week, phablet activations surged. Phablets are primarily gaining popularity at the expense of full-sized tablets. They are entering the mainstream, but the medium sized phone is still liked by consumers and saw the largest share of device activations this Christmas.