Mobile apps are catching on, as growth rates over the Christmas period accelerate and the number of downloads on iOS and Android break the one billion mark. Guy Daniels reports.
Mobile application analytics company Flurry has released data on the app market over the Christmas 2011 period. The tracking company (which is the most widely installed analytics and ad platform for mobile apps) says that 1.2 billion apps were downloaded on iOS and Android devices in the final week of the year – December 25 through December 31 – which represents a new high. The preceding week was no slouch either, with 857 million downloads. Christmas Day itself saw 242 million application downloads.
During the first two weeks of December, average weekly downloads were about 750 million, which means the 1.2 billion in the final week represents a gift-induced increase of 60 per cent. Unsurprisingly, the US leads the way in downloads, with 509 million downloads during the final week of the year (42 per cent of the global total). A huge gap to second place China, with a mere 99 million, closely followed by the UK (punching way above its weight in terms of population size) with 81 million. That’s twice as many as fourth placed Canada with 41 million. Germany is the second-highest European nation with 40 million, while mobile-mad South Korea can only muster 34 million.
The commercial power of Christmas is aptly demonstrated…
Peak time for app downloads on Christmas day was 7pm to 11pm, although really it began to peak at 11am (can you hear the sound of those expensive presents being unwrapped?), growing from 14m to 16m per hour in that period.
Furthermore, with a data-set from over 140,000 installed apps, Flurry says it can detect over 90 per cent of all new iOS and Android powered devices activated each day. It estimates that a record-breaking 6.8 million Santa-delivered iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas Day – rising to over 20 million for the whole of the final week of the year.
Flurry’s VP of marketing, Peter Farago, says on his blog that this growth is set to continue:
“Looking forward to 2012, Flurry expects breaking the one-billion-download-barrier per week will become more common-place. While iOS and Android growth continues to amaze, the market is still by all measures relatively nascent.”
Meanwhile, according to Netherlands-based analytics firm Distimo, the total number of active applications worldwide in the Android Market reached 400,000 at the end of the Christmas week – 31 months after its launch. Android Market hit the 200k and 300k milestones in April and August 2011 respectively. Apple supporters can boast that the App Store hit 400,000 after just 22 months – but Google supporters can argue that the speed of growth of the Android Market is now exceeding that of the App Store.
According to Distimo, the main contributors are free applications. Back in April, 60 per cent of all Android apps were free, but this has now risen to 68 per cent. In terms of developers, Android Market can now count on more than 100,000 separate publishers active in its store, each delivering on average 4.1 applications during the past year.
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