Apple iOS, Google Android new device activations skyrocket

Activations of new iOS and Android devices soared on Christmas Day, jumping by 142 percent over the same day last year, a Web metrics company said.

Meanwhile, Google’s head of mobile claimed that 3.7 million new Android smartphones and tablets had been activated last weekend.

According to Flurry, which provides metrics services to app developers, total activations of new iOS and Android devices reached 6.8 million on Sunday, Christmas Day. That was 142 percent above the previous one-day record of 2.8 million activations on December 25, 2010, and a 353 percent increase over the average of 1.5 million activations daily between December 1 and December 20, 2011.

Not surprisingly, Flurry attributed the massive jump in iOS—iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch—and Android phone and tablet activations to holiday gift giving.

In a Tuesday blog post , Flurry said that its metrics services—used by more than 140,000 iOS and Android apps—“detects roughly 100 percent of all new iOS and Android devices activated each day.”

Google added to the activation number discussion today.

“There were 3.7M Android devices activated on 12/24 and 12/25,” said Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at the Mountain View, California-based company, in a tweet early Wednesday.

Rubin’s timespan of both days last weekend—Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day—differed from Flurry’s December 25-only period.

Earlier this month, Rubin claimed that more than 700,000 Android devices were being activated daily, up from approximately 300,000 devices each day in December 2010.

Apple does not discuss activation numbers for iOS devices, although some mobile carriers do. Last October, for example, AT&T said it had activated 2.7 million iPhones in the quarter that ended September 30, 2011, or about 29,300 per day.

Last year, Apple sold 16.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, and 7.3 million iPads. However, most analysts are betting that Apple will nearly double the iPhone number this year, and sell more than 12 million iPads during the period.

[Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer , on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg’s RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.]

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