Flurry: 1.76B apps downloaded during the holidays

A record-breaking period of app downloads over the recent holiday season is just the beginning of a gift to developers that will keep on giving, according to a market research study.

In its latest report, Flurry said nearly 330 million apps were downloaded on iOS and Android devices on Christmas Day, validating efforts by developers and publishers to get their products ready in time for the festive season. This coincided with the activation of an estimated 17.4 million iOS and Android devices, Flurry said. However, the real records were broken over the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, where a whopping 1.76 billion downloads occurred. According to Flurry, this marks the largest activity of its kind in history.

Source: Flurry Analytics, December 2012

As impressive as those numbers may be, the Flurry report suggests the best is yet to come in 2013. "Following a year where Google [NASDAQ:GOOG] and Apple [NASDAQ:AAPL] drove unprecedented adoption of mobile devices, Facebook [NASDAQ:FB] declared itself a 'mobile' company, and Amazon [NASDAQ:AMZN] and Microsoft [NASDAQ:MSFT] both made significant investments into mobile computing, we look forward to continued record-breaking adoption of smart devices and applications," the report said. "Flurry expects the trend of one-billion-download weeks to become the norm and that the industry will surpass the two-billion download week during Q4."

One of the interesting aspects of Flurry's research is the way in which it highlights the influence of local culture on the marketing opportunities for developers on a worldwide basis. In this case, being Christian, or at least celebrating Christmas as a national holiday, had a huge impact on downloads and smartphone activations. While the U.S. and China dominated in terms of overall activity, Flurry said Christian-majority countries such as Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Italy and Mexico "over-indexed" against countries where fewer people celebrate Christmas, such as South Korea and Japan, despite their large installed bases.

Although most people associate Christmas with a time of gathering around the dinner table with family and friends, Flurry's research on download distribution per hour suggests most of us were too busy playing with new apps to carve the turkey. "The shape of this curve looks like a table top, with downloads jumping early in the day to around 20 million per hour, when most of us were still in our pajamas, and remaining at this level for most of the day, even after the egg nog was gone," the report said.

For more:
- read this Flurry report

Related articles:
'Angry Birds Space' soars past 50M downloads in 35 days
Report: Holiday tablet traffic leaps 229%