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iOS and Android phones, tablets: Activations soar

Christmas sales of Apple and Android phones and other devices were so strong that activations and app downloads skyrocket on Christmas Day. App downloads for iOS and Android phones and tablets are expected to reach 10 billion this year.  

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A sign for the Google digital music store is seen during an unveiling event in Los Angeles last month. Android phones and other devices, as well iOS devices, were so popular this Christmas that activations and app downloads rose dramatically.

Jae C. Hong/AP/File

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Christmas is a time for giving and for many, the gift was gadgets. Android and iOS devices saw a year over year 140 percent jump in activations this Christmas, with application downloads sailing past the historical norm.

Smartphones and tablets have surpassed the luxury phase, and are proliferating the market as every day household items. Though it still hasn’t taken over feature phones, which still own around 60 percent of the market, smartphones are widely adopted. Because of that adoption, they are being given as gifts left and right, with 2011 being the biggest year for Android and iOS devices as of yet.

According to Flurry, an app analytics provider, Android and iOS device activations averaged around 1.5 million a day for December until Christmas, when it shot up 358 percent to 6.8 activations. That is to say, lucky boys and girls across the globe open Santa’s gifts to find Xooms, iPhones, iPads, and more. Indeed, the iPad was on children’s most wanted lists. According to a Nielsen report, 44 percent of kids in the United States requested an iPad for the holidays. If children aged 6-12 years old could get the tablet they desired, their second choice was an iPod Touch or iPhone.

But what do you do with your newly unwrapped toys on Christmas? You play with them! And thus, Christmas day yielded a huge spike in app downloads, the soul of iOS and Android phones and other devices. Flurry expects Apple will see 10 billion app downloads this year, that’s more than downloads from 2008, 2009 and 2010 combined. Android will also see 10 billion downloads, tripled from it’s 3 billion total downloads seen this past May.

Prior to Christmas day, December app sales were steady around 1.8 million a day. Then, when everyone was finished opening gifts on the 25th, app downloads jumped 125 percent to 242 million. The rise started around 7 am and continued throughout the day until it peaked at around 8 pm and fell as holiday meal-stuffed people drifted off to sleep.

Perhaps Apple’s Siri commercial featuring Santa isn’t as silly as it comes off. Smart devices are becoming the norm, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rudolph gets laid off in exchange for the Siri’s sleek purple microphone.

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