OVER ONE BILLION smartphone apps were downloaded in the last week of 2011 – the highest number ever to be downloaded in a seven-day window.
Statistics compiled by analytics firm Flurry estimate that 1.2 billion apps were downloaded between December 25 and 31 – the first time that the one billion threshold had ever been broken.
The surge in downloads marked a 60 per cent increase in the average number of apps downloaded for each of the two previous weeks – indicating that smartphones and tablet computers were among the popular Christmas gifts this yaer.
The US accounted for almost half of the total, with Flurry estimating that 509 million apps were downloaded in the country that week; China beat the UK into third place, accounting for 99 million downloads to the UK’s 81 million.
The strong performance of China is notable, however, because Christmas is not widely celebrated in the country and so there would be no associated surge of gift-giving.
Apple’s App Store – the sole formal method for downloading apps to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch – was expected to reach around 10 billion app downloads last year, more than doubling the total downloads recorded between 2008 and 2010.
Flurry separately estimated that the number of new smartphones activated on December 25 was around 6.8 million – more than four times the usual daily amount.
While Apple does not formally release data about the number of devices being turned on for the first time, Google has confirmed that over 3.7 million Android devices were activated on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Flurry’s statistics are based on analytical tracking embedded in the vast majority of Apple and Android apps.