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Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 09:08 am PT (12:08 pm ET)

Christmas Day activation numbers suggest iOS topped Android by 1.6M

New data from a variety of sources suggests the combination of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch was enough for iOS activations to top Google Android on Christmas Day by more than 1.6 million units.

Parsing out some of the latest data, Philip Elmer-Dewitt of Fortune reported on Wednesday that at least 4.2 million iOS devices were activated on Dec. 25. That compares to a total of 3.7 million Android devices activated on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, according to Google Android Chief Andy Rubin.

In years past, Android activations have seen a boost of about 50 percent on Christmas Eve. So with at least 1.1 million Android devices assumed activated on Christmas Eve (up from its usual daily total of 700,000), Christmas Day Android activations would be 2.6 million.

Subtracting that estimated total from recently released data from Flurry Analytics gives the estimated total of 4.2 million activated iOS devices. Flurry revealed on Tuesday that iOS and Android activations combined grew 353 percent on Christmas day, reaching 6.8 million units. A breakdown of iOS versus Android devices was not given.

Apple's estimated 4.2 million iOS activations on Christmas Day would give Apple a 1.6 million unit lead over Google's Android. Both platforms are available on smartphones, tablets and media players.

"Given that Android phones outsold iPhones by 2:1 worldwide in the second quarter of 2011 and more than 3:1 in the third quarter," Elmer-Dewitt wrote, "it's likely that if Apple did beat Android in the Christmas bake-off by more than a million and a half units, sales of the iPad and iPad touch probably accounted for the difference."

Rubin announced last week that Android device activations had reached 700,000 per day. Apple has not revealed its daily device activations in over a year, and did not share any data about Christmas activations, but did state in October that it had sold more than 250 million iOS devices to date.

Christmas

Estimates based on Flurry Analytics and Google tweets. Source: Fortune.


The data from Google also does not include the Amazon Kindle Fire, which runs a heavily modified version of Android and does not show up in activations for the mobile operating system. Amazon has said that it has sold millions of the Kindle Fire and that it is its best-selling device, but has declined to give specific figures.

Apple's sales figures for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will be revealed next month, when the company holds its quarterly earnings conference call. That will cover the company's first fiscal quarter of 2012, which runs through December and includes the holiday shopping season.