Android and iOS Soared through the Roof This Christmas: 6.8 Million Activations

By Miguel Leiva-Gomez December 28, 2011

SVP of the mobile department at Google, Andy Rubin, posted on Twitter that more than 3.7 million Android devices were activated throughout the weekend when Christmas hit. Further estimates from Independent put the combined figure of iOS and Android OS activations at around 6.8 million on Christmas day alone. This startling figure beats the figure for last year by more than two times.

Experts in the mobile industry attribute the rise in mobile activations to the more affordable price tags smartphones have been receiving lately, particularly the entry-level versions. Flurry Analytics also estimates that 242 million application downloads were made on that day, which might also have obvious ties to the new devices activated. Applications were most downloaded in the evening of Christmas day, according to the company's data.

Flurry Analytics compiled its data through an analytics utility that monitors usage and new downloads of over 140 thousand applications in Apple's App Store and Android Market. The company, unfortunately, combined the results for all operating systems, leaving us with no data for any specific OS.

IBM Coremetrics, a web analytics utility, says that online shopping levels on Christmas day shot up to 16 percent more than the figure reported in 2010. Mobile traffic took a big stand, most of it coming from iPad tablets. Seven percent of all devices purchased for Christmas were iPads, while all others had a slightly lower percentage for the holiday season. Mobile magazine's former editor James Atkinson says that the number of activations performed was very monumental for Apple, considering that many people had high hopes of the iPhone 5 being released before Christmas. Instead, Apple released an iPhone 4S, which didn't stop people from entering a frenzy.

Atkinson also believes that the rise in mobile activations can be attributed to a price drop in entry-level smartphones, but he also put emphasis on the fact that Android's been making the push for more affordable mobile devices. That's no surprise, as the cheaper versions have most of the functionalities that the "premium" smartphones do.


Miguel Leiva-Gomez is a professional writer with experience in computer sciences, technology, and gadgets. He has written for multiple technology and travel outlets and owns his own tech blog called The Tech Guy, where he writes educational, informative, and sometimes comedic articles for an audience that is less versed in technology.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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