02 January 2017

Flurry Blog: “From Apps to iPhones: Holiday Shoppers invest in Apple”

This year, 44% of new phone and tablet activations were Apple devices with Samsung seeing 21%. While Samsung is slowly growing in popularity throughout the holiday season, up 1% from last year, Apple devices continue to be the gift to give. Holding the third and fourth positions for activations are Huawei and LG; which  is remarkable, as both manufacturers do not have an individual device within the top 35 devices activated. Their high rank is likely due to the fact that they have wide variety of devices and affordable options (hundreds of phablet and medium phones) for consumers to choose from. Perhaps not so surprisingly, missing from this chart is the Google Pixel. With only two devices, the Pixel and Pixel XL, and mixed market reception, Google struggled to drum up excitement this holiday season.

Chris Klotzbach

I was a little confused when I saw Techmeme rewriting this headline as ‘44% of global smartphone and tablet activations from December 19-25 were iOS, down 5% YoY, while 21% were Samsung devices; Pixel, Pixel XL not among top sellers’, as the original post doesn’t mention any year-on-year trends for Apple devices. But sure enough, if you compare the data with Flurry’s post from last year, the change is evident: in the 2015 holiday season more than 49% of activations came from Apple devices. The drop is more pronounced than between 2014 and 2015, when iPhone sales were flat year-on-year, so we can reasonably expect this year’s reported iPhone sales to be lower than in 2015 – no a very good sign for Apple. The are other factors in play though: since the data in global, some of the decline can be explained by the declining market share of Apple’s premium products compared to cheaper Android phones.

Flurry Top Device Activations by Manufacturer over the last three years

Also, somehow Samsung managed to grow despite the exploding Galaxy Note fiasco!

xmas form factor distribution

On a more positive note for Apple, demand for phablets is strong, so even if they sell less iPhones overall, it’s likely the larger Plus model will sell better and generate solid revenues through its higher price (see the tweet below). But this market trend will continue to cannibalize the iPad which hasn’t seen growth since longer than most people can remember.

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