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Bumper Christmas for app downloads


Steve Costello

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The mobile app industry had a bumper Christmas holiday period, with figures from both Distimo and Flurry noting a sharp increase in downloads.

Christmas week downloads top 1.75 billion
According to app marketing firm Flurry, during the Christmas holiday period (25 December to 31 December 2012), some 1.76 billion apps were downloaded, a 65 percent increase over the weekly average for earlier in the month.

Driving this was the activation of more than 50 million iOS and Android devices.

For Christmas day itself, Flurry estimates that a “record-breaking” 328 million apps were downloaded (more than double the early December average), with 17.4 million devices activated (up 332 percent).

The lion’s share of the Christmas week downloads (604 million) were made from the US, with China in second place on 183 million, and the UK in third on 132 million.

The company noted that with China not widely celebrating Christmas, this market does not see the same uplift during the holiday sales period as many others – Japan and South Korea also performed relatively poorly for this reason.

Markets which “significantly over-indexed” during the period included Russia, Italy and Mexico.

Flurry said that during 2013 it expects “the trend of one billion download weeks to become the norm”, and that in the fourth quarter the industry will see a two billion download week.

Flurry Christmas

Christmas day app growth near 90 percent
Distimo said that iOS app downloads increased by 87 percent on the 25 December compared with the daily average for the December 2012 average, although it did not state what this meant in absolute terms. Moreover, revenue showed a “slightly lower” increase of 70 percent.

According to the company, iPad downloads and revenue increased by 140 percent, while iPhone downloads and revenue grew by 83 percent, with the company surmising that “the iPad seems to have been a very popular gift”.

The most popular titles on Christmas day – excluding Apple’s own apps – were YouTube and Google Maps, both published by Google, and ElfYourself by Magic Mirror.

Distimo Christmas

Tablets topping gift chart
According to Flurry, Christmas day saw a greater proportion of tablet activations than the norm earlier in the month – 51 percent of devices activated fell into this category, compared with the early December average of 20 percent.

The “big winners” were iPads, iPad minis, and the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch, with Amazon having increased its share by “several thousand percent over its baseline of tablet activations over the earlier part of December”.

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