Christmas Week Breaks Records for iOS and Android Device Activations and App Downloads

In a recent post on the Flurry blog, the advertising and analytics firm provided some of the most staggering numbers ever seen for device activations and app downloads. Flurry used data culled from more than 260,000 different apps running on both Android and iOS devices.

App creators and developers know that Christmas is the most important day of the year, and Christmas week is the most important week of the year. For iOS and Android, the news was great: Christmas was the biggest day ever, with approximately 17.4 million combined Android and iOS devices activated, and 328 million apps downloaded. Christmas week was even better, with over 50 million devices activated and 1.76 billion apps downloaded.

Between 4th December and 17th December, combined Android and iOS downloads averaged 1.07 billion per week. The 1.76 billion that were downloaded from 25-31st December represented an increase of 65%.

When the numbers are broken down by country, the top two are no surprise: the US, with 604 million holiday week downloads, and China, with 183 million. The UK downloaded 132 million apps, and Australia downloaded 32 million for tenth place on the list. The US share represents 34.3%, and the Chinese share represents 10.3%.

China’s number is surprisingly low, until one remembers that China doesn’t celebrate Christmas, and that only 3% of the country is Christian. According to Flurry’s estimate, there are currently 181 million active Android and iOS devices in the US, while there are 167 million in China. That explains, in part, how China was able to turn the Android/iOS war on its head last year.

Flurry projects download weeks of 1 billion to become average in 2013, and expects the industry to have at least one week with 2 billion downloads. While Google and Apple have dominated, Microsoft and Facebook are both making inroads into the mobile industry. If Facebook mobile and Windows mobile take off, we expect a lot of demand.

Flurry’s analytics cover more than 25% of all apps downloaded from Google Play or the App Store, and it becomes simple math to estimate downloads from both systems. To ensure accuracy, they triangulate their numbers with those provided by Android and iOS on a regular basis.

Usually, whenever any studies are done, it pits the manufacturers and operating systems against each other. We like this data because it shows just how big the apps business is.

For app creators, app developers, and app builders, these numbers are encouraging. There is a lot to be happy about here, and there aren’t very many reasons not to be happy. Both platforms are selling more devices than ever before, and users are filling them with more apps than ever before.

Apps have transitioned from obscure to ubiquitous within the space of five years. At this point in time, there aren’t very many people in English-speaking countries who don’t know what an app is.

As businesses create more apps, and app developers come up with more entertaining and elaborate apps than in the past, the public is not only becoming more open to them, but it is bordering on dependency. A lot of people depend on their smartphones to do everything for them, from shopping to buying concert tickets, to perusing a few local menus to help decide what’s for dinner. This bodes extremely well for the apps industry.

Looking into the future, we can’t see anything but massive growth. In a previous piece, we showed industry estimates that there will be nearly 8 times as many apps on the market in 2016 as there are now. A different set of numbers was used, but the result is the same: the marketplace for apps is growing at a near-exponential pace.

The way we see it, Apple iOS and Android apps will still dominate the market. Remember, though, that Windows and even Facebook are now in the apps market, and that could create an even larger demand than many have anticipated.  App developers and creators will have more options than before, and those who are savvy might be able to ride the current wave into unprecedented sales.

Current forecasts are for the market to keep growing at least through 2016. We can’t see further ahead, or even guarantee anything about the future, but the bottom line is that right now looks great for Android and iOS apps. We will keep updating here for what happens with Windows apps, Facebook apps, multi-platform apps, and whatever else comes along.

Whatever you need, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. Our team of experts is ready and waiting, to help you make 2013 a happy and prosperous year. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, we’ve got an app for you.

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