It looks like Cupertino has once again dominated the Christmas season, because according to a recent poll, almost half of all new device activations during Christmas week in the United States were Apple smartphones or tablets.
Good, but not as great as last year
The news comes from Flurry, and notes that this year during Christmas week (Dec. 19-25) Apple accounted for precisely 49.1 percent of new device activations. Samsung came in second place, with a far lesser 19.8 percent share, and Nokia, LG, and Xiaomi all scored 2.0 percent or under. Based on Flurry’s tracking of some 780,000 mobile apps, Christmas indeed belonged to Apple this time around. The release of the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro meant there was a lot for Santa to bring Apple fans.
Mind you, Apple’s performance over Christmas 2015 wasn’t as impressive as its share of last year’s activations. Back then, Cupertino scored 51.3 percent of new device activations, and rival company Samsung held 17.7 percent. In 2015, however, Apple’s share has indeed fallen while Samsung’s has increased, albeit only slightly in both cases.
Folks love their phablets
Perhaps the biggest surprise this year, though, is Flurry’s note concerning the form factor of new device activations in 2013, 2014, and now 2015. As you can see in the below chart, “phablets” (that is, larger handsets such as the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus) are capturing a larger share of this market, year over year. On the other hand, activations of medium phones (such as the iPhone 6 and 6s) are falling.
Presently, for Christmas week this year, 27 percent of new device activations were for phablet-sized handsets. Concerning the move, Flurry had this to say:
In the early days it appeared that phablets were stealing share from tablets, with tablet share decreasing from 17% in 2013 to 11% 2014. For the first time in 2015 though, it appears consumers are opting for phablets — not instead of a tablet — but instead of a smaller-sized phone. Meanwhile, small phones with a screen size less than 3.5” are nearly extinct. We’d be surprised if they even make it on the chart next year.
Nevertheless, sales of both full-size and small tablets continued to fall in 2015. This year, each category of tablet scored just nine percent of new device activations in the United States.
For the full breakdown, check out Flurry’s original report.