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Monday, January 02, 2012, 06:14 pm PT (09:14 pm ET)

iOS, Android post record app downloads of 1.2 billion during last week of 2011

The week between Christmas and New Year's saw record iOS and Android app downloads of 1.2 billion, while the two platforms saw a total of 20 million device activations during the so-called "power week," making it their largest week ever, according to a new analysis.

Mobile analytics firm Flurry detailed the holiday week figures in a report on Monday. The data reflects a continued trend where app makers see their biggest sales surge in the week following Christmas, rather than during the usual pre-Christmas shopping season.

According to the report, combined iOS and Android new app downloads from December 25-31 topped 1.2 billion, representing 60 percent growth over the weekly average from the first two weeks in December. 242 million application downloads came on Christmas Day alone. By comparison, the week before Christmas saw 857 million downloads, driven largely by a boost in downloads on Dec. 24.

The U.S. held a large lead over other countries in terms of total app downloads during the holiday week, consistent with the firm's earlier estimates that the American installed base is the world's largest with 109 million. The report claimed the U.S. saw 509 million application downloads, or 42.3 percent, last week.

China, which has grown to become the second-largest app market, came in second in terms of app downloads during the period with a total of 99 million. The U.K. came in third with 81 million downloads, followed by Canada, Germany and France.

App downloads


The firm pointed out a trend where countries with less-established traditions of celebrating Christmas saw significantly less app downloads than regions where the holiday is observed. For instance, countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Italy, Spain and Mexico over-indexed against countries like China, South Korea and Japan. Canada saw the biggest leap, logging the 4th most downloads over the period despite being the 8th largest installed base.

Looking ahead to 2012, Flurry predicts iOS and Android will begin regularly surpassing the one-billion-download-barrier on a weekly basis. "While iOS and Android growth continues to amaze, the market is still by all measures relatively nascent," the report read.

App downloads


The report also noted that total iOS and Android activations for the week of Dec. 25-31 set an all-time high of 20 million devices. The firm had previously reported that Christmas Day device activations surged 353 percent from earlier in December.

When compared against numbers provided by Google Android Chief Andy Rubin, iOS activations appeared to have topped Android activations by more than 1.6 million units. Rubin announced last week that 3.7 million Android devices were activated on Dec. 24 and 25. He also revealed last month that daily Android activations had passed the 700,000 unit mark.

Flurry takes its data from over 140,000 apps that use its analytics tools on either platform. It claims to detect over "90% of all new devices activated each day." The company also claims to have its analytics service in more than 20 percent of all applications downloaded from the App Store and Android Market each day.