Android, iOS activations hit record on Christmas. Again

New smartphones given as gifts led to record activation and app download numbers last week, says a new report.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
New iOS and Android device activations for December.
New iOS and Android device activations for December. Flurry

People unwrapping new smartphones with Google's Android and Apple's iOS as part of the Christmas holiday once again led to record activations and app downloads this year, says mobile analytics firm Flurry.

In a report issued today, Flurry says that the number of Android and iOS devices activated on Christmas Day jumped 353 percent over the number of activations from the first 20 days of December, and 140 percent from the same day last year.

All told, the firm says activations from both platforms came in at more than 6.8 million devices, up from the 1.5 million devices a day average earlier in the month. For the sake of comparison, Flurry recorded 2.8 million device activations on Christmas Day in 2010.

To coincide with the surge in activations, Flurry says, the number of apps downloaded also saw a significant boost, with people picking up software for their new devices; however, that percentage gain is considerably lower than the activations. On Christmas Day, Flurry has people downloading 242 million apps in a single day, up from the 108 million a day average it gathered between December 1 to 20.

New iOS and Android app downloads during December.
New iOS and Android app downloads during December. Flurry

Alongside the data on activations and downloads, Flurry provided a chart with total app downloads by the hour on Christmas Day. At its peak, smartphone users on the two platforms were downloading more than 15 million applications during the two hours between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Pacific.

Flurry, which notes that its analytics system is used by more than 140,000 apps, says that it's able to detect "roughly 100 percent of all new iOS and Android devices activated each day." However, the company has not provided a breakdown of which of these activations and downloads are associated with each particular platform, keeping onlookers from being able to pull out specific numbers related to Android and iOS. Earlier this month, Google said that it was seeing 700,000 activations of its Android phones every day.