If Only Every Day Were Christmas Day in the World of Mobile Apps

iphone5 ipad mini ipad3As you might expect, there was a massive number of iOS and Google Android device activations and mobile app downloads on Christmas Day 2012. Mobile was hot for holiday gift giving, and recipients couldn’t wait another day to start using their new devices.

According to research by Flurry, 17.4 million new iOS and Android devices were activated on December 25, 2012. That’s a 332% increase over the average 4.0 million downloads per day seen between December 1-20, 2012. It’s also 2.5 times more than the number of devices activated on Christmas Day 2011, which until December 25, 2102, held the single-day activation record. Now, December 25, 2012 is the top device activation date in history.

Once those devices were activated, recipients got busy using them immediately. While Flurry tracked an average of 155 million iOS and Android app downloads between December 1-20, 2012, the number soared by 112% on Christmas Day 2012 when 328 million apps were downloaded setting another date in mobile history – the record app download day.

When did new mobile device users download all of those apps on Christmas Day? The number of downloads per hours skyrocketed from fewer than 5 million per hour at 7:00 a.m. to approximately 20 million per hour at 10:00 a.m. at which point it stayed relatively flat until approximately 9:00 p.m. However the slow-down didn’t get back down to approximately 5 million downloads per hour until 1:00 a.m. Apparently, new device owners do need to sleep sometime.

And what about tablet devices? According to Flurry, smartphone activations still outpace tablet device activations on a day-to-day basis. Between December 1-20, 2012, the number of smartphone activations each day was four times higher than tablet activations (80% vs. 20%). However, on Christmas Day 2012, tablets nudged past smartphones with 51% of iOS and Android device activations for tablets and 49% for smartphones.

It’s a mobile world and your content needs to be mobile-ready. While research shows that people don’t usually use their smartphones to read long-form online content, they do find and share content via smartphones. Furthermore, the growing adoption rates of tablets will change how people consume content, particularly using multiple screens at the same time. These are the challenges and opportunities facing content publishers in 2013. Is your content ready?

Check out the details and charts on the Flurry blog.

Image:  Yutaka Tsutano

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