A new report indicates that the biggest-selling holiday gifts this year were Apple devices and also phablets from various smartphone makers. Although Samsung trailed Apple by a wide margin, sales were up slightly for the company compared with last Christmas, while Apple sales were slightly down.
Mobile analytics company Flurry issued the stats after tracking installations of apps on new devices to determine which were most popular. The company found that 49.1 percent of new devices came courtesy of Apple, with Samsung coming in at 19.8 percent. Despite the huge margin of victory for Apple, the figures were 2.2 percent lower than last year’s, while Samsung’s share increased almost by the same amount, 2.1 percent. Flurry noted that the Samsung uptick was a result of positive reaction to some of its newer Galaxy smartphones, specifically the Grand Prime, Core Prime and S6.
The biggest loser was Nokia, which plummeted from 5.8 percent a year ago to just 2 percent this year. LG at 1.7 percent and Xiaomi at 1.5 percent rounded out the top 5, while Sony was another loser, dropping out of the top five this year after appearing on last year’s list.
Jarah Euston, vice president of growth at Flurry, said that “Christmas is traditionally the biggest day of the year for new smart-device activations and app downloads, and 2015 was no exception, with new device activations and app installs shattering record after record.”
The other big winner was not a specific smartphone maker, but instead a smartphone form factor. The large-screened phablet made big strides this year, accounting for a full 27 percent of new devicescompared with just 4 percent two years ago. While the surge in phablet interest was partially based on the recent introduction of the bigger screened iPhone 6/6s “Plus” series, that wasn’t the only factor. Sales of Android phablets spiked as well, with Flurry attributing much of that success to Samsung’s Galaxy Note series. The report stated that a full half of all new Android devices were, in fact, phablets, with the Asian market leading the way in adopting the form factor.