Metrics are metrics and the devil remains firmly in the analytics, so take these holiday 2016 numbers from Flurry for whatever you think they're worth:
This year, 44% of new phone activations were Apple devices with Samsung seeing 21%. While Samsung is slowly growing in popularity throughout the holiday season, up 1% from last year, Apple devices continue to be the gift to give. Holding the third and fourth positions for activations are Huawei and LG; which is remarkable, as both manufacturers do not have an individual device within the top 35 devices activated. Their high rank is likely due to the fact that they have wide variety of devices and affordable options (hundreds of phablet and medium phones) for consumers to choose from. Perhaps not so surprisingly, missing from this chart is the Google Pixel. With only two devices, the Pixel and Pixel XL, and mixed market reception, Google struggled to drum up excitement this holiday season.
Flurry also called out bigger phones — like iPhone 7 Plus — the future, since their numbers show growth from 4% in 2013 to 37% this holiday season. Small phones fell from 3% to 1% and tablets from a combined 29% to 17%.
Flurry collects data from apps that embed their software developer kit (SDK) for in-app analytics.
Given Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 recall, the gap isn't surprising. What remains to be seen is what, if any, lasting damage was done to Samsung's brand — my guess is people don't care about that kind of stuff as much as they used to — and how much momentum that and iPhone 7 has helped Apple pick up going into 2017.
It'll be interesting to see Apple's holiday quarter results next month.
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