Apple Saw Strong Holiday iDevice Sales This Year

Screen shot 2012 12 28 at 10 25 07 am

It doesn’t take a financial genius to figure out that Apple was expecting to do very well this holiday season. How well? Looks like year over year increases on the order of 111–128% for iPads and iPhones, but it doesn’t end there, it was a “very appy” Christmas according to Distimo’s app download data with an 87% increase over last year. The next is question is, then, what does January hold?

Philip Elmer-Dewitt of Fortune Tech commented yesterday on analyst reports of Apple’s holiday sales, which are pretty fantastic if you ask me, but there is caution in the air for just how long Apple can maintain this kind of growth:

Given the blow-out iPhone and iPads sales Apple reported in its 2011 holiday quarter—up 128% and 111% year over year, respectively—the Wall Street analysts we’ve polled expect that breakneck growth to slow considerably in the quarter that ends Saturday. They think Apple’s Q1 2013 is going to be what they call a “tough compare,” and they’re looking, on average, for year-over-year unit sales growth of 28% for the iPhone and 48% for the iPad.

It’s normal, now that various “new” devices are a few months old, to start wondering when the next devices will start coming out. Rumors of iPhone 5S, Retina (or updated) iPad mini, or even another refresh of the iPad will certainly cool people rushing out to get devices. However there are analysts who think Apple’s selling streak will continue into the New Year making for a great start to 2013 for them.

Related data on our tech-filled the holidays (and when have they not been in the last 5 years), we have a big jump in device activations (my family did their part with three device activations this season) and app downloads (it’s amazing how fast a $50 iTunes card can be spent in the hands of a game fanatic ten-year-old):

  • Flurry Analytics reports that 17 million Apple iOS and Google (GOOG) Android devices were activated on Christmas Day, up 250% from 2011. Flurry, unfortunately, doesn’t tell us how many of those were Androids and how many were Apples.
  • Distimo’s data was more platform specific. It reported a “very appy” Christmas Day that saw downloads on Apple’s App Store increase 87% year over year. While less than the 3X increase Distimo reported in 2011, it suggests a bigger bump in unit sales that the Street is expecting.

I haven’t seen reports of media sales (books, movies, and music), but with my gut feeling that Apple is really a consumer electronics company morphing into a media giant, I’d like to know how much media was bought over the holidays. My family alone probably dropped $50+ in music, movies, and TV shows in addition to apps purchased for devices. I’m downloading a couple movies right now and see not only the app economy but the media consumption economy as being important drivers in mobile device use in the coming years.

Via: Fortune Tech