iPhone 6s

Like every year end, Santa was busy delivering happiness all over the world. His sleigh though, was unsurprisingly filled with… you guessed it, Apple products. In fact, Apple products accounted for almost half of all new devices bought, gifted and activated during Christmas week.

In a report by Flurry Insights, which tracks device activations by form factor and operating system, Apple dominated Christmas 2015 with 49.1% share overall. This number however is down from last year’s 51.3% market share over the same period (19-25 December).

Big is bigger

Medium-sized phones like the recently launched iPhone 6s dominated the iOS platform, while it was pretty equal between iPads and iPhone 6s Plus devices. The iPad Pro accounted for less than 1% of device activations.

Christmas device sales

Samsung was a distant second, with 19.8% of new device activations, up from 17.7% last year. The Korean maker’s budget phablet Galaxy Grand Prime and Core Prime, as well as flagship Galaxy S6 were key drivers.

Things were not as rosy for Microsoft as activations dropped by half from 5.8% to 2% this year.

China’s rising star, Xiaomi made it to the top five for the very first time, throwing Sony off the top five list. This despite Christmas not being the biggest gifting day in the year for the Chinese. Xiaomi is one to watch, with a rumoured US-entry next year.

On the Android front, phablets were huge this Christmas, accounting for 27% of activations. This was largely attributed to strong sales of the new Samsung Galaxy Note5.

Christmas device sales

Big is better

Flurry said that for the first time in 2015, consumers are opting for phablets over smaller-sized phones and full-fledged tablets. The analyst firm also revealed that this holidays season could mark the death of the small phone, and will not be surprised if they don’t make it on the chart next year.

Just four years ago, big phones were unheard of until Samsung decided to venture into this segment and invent the phablet category. Its original Samsung Galaxy Note was a surprising hit, and spawned a new generation of devices.

Fast forward several years and it is the fastest growing segment, thanks to consumers’ acceptance of bigger phone sizes. Apple took note of the trend and jumped on the bandwagon (albeit late) with the bigger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

A move that has proven to be a huge success.

Christmas device sales

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