This year people around the world celebrated Christmas by downloading an unsurpassed number of apps on their new iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
A record breaking 242 million apps were downloaded worldwide on December 25, which app store analytics firm Flurry says is “more than double any other day in the history of iOS and Android devices, except December 24, which delivered roughly 150 million downloads.”
According to Flurry’s estimates, iOS and Android app downloads started to surge after 7AM on Christmas Day around the globe as people started opening their presents. App downloads peaked between 7PM to 9PM and exceeded 15 million downloads per hour.
Historically, Christmas is one of the biggest digital download days on the calendar for companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google. Consumers race to download apps and digital content on their newly acquired devices.
This year new iOS and Android device activations were at an all time high too. People activated more than 6.8 million devices on Christmas Day alone, an increase of more than 140% compared to the 2.8 million device activations on Christmas Day in 2010 and a 353% increase above the December 1-20 baseline of 1.5 million device activations per day.
Consumers with digital devices did not spend all their time downloading apps on Christmas Day; they were busy shopping online too. Online shopping on Christmas Day increased by 16.4 percent compared to last year and purchases from mobile devices jumped a huge 172.9 percent.
13.4% of online sales on Christmas Day were made from an iPad (7%) or iPhone (6.4%). Android-powered devices accounted for a further 5% of Christmas sales, reports Forbes citing initial online retail figures from IBM Benchmark.
IBM chief strategy officer John Squire told Forbes, “[t]he iPad wasn't even around two years ago and now it’s the leading mobile device for purchases. Android came out from nowhere last year, and now it is in third place.”
With even more devices in the wild this year, app downloads are expected to continue at elevated rates over the Christmas to New Year's Eve period. Flurry forecasts that during the period consumers will download around 1 billion apps total.