Were Tablets the Stars of 2012?

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Christmas Day saw 17.4 million Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) mobile devices being activated, setting an all-time record. And tablets, led by the iPad, the iPad mini, and the 7-inch Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire HD, accounted for 51 percent of the total, according to research firm Flurry.

The total was more than 2.5 times the 6.8 million activations on Christmas Day last year and more than four times the average of 4 million activations per day between December 1 and December 20.

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App downloads also saw a sudden flood, with more than 328 million applications being purchased. The report expected app download rates to stay at the significantly heightened rate through New Year’s Day. “Flurry anticipates downloads to surpass more than 1.5 billion, and have a shot at breaking through the 2-billion download barrier for the first time ever,” the report said. “We look forward to accelerated growth in 2013, and continued success for developers.”

Tablets were the clear winners of the day. According to Flurry, smartphone activations outpace tablets by 4:1 on a typical day. However, on December 25, phones stayed in a minority. While the report did not give a platform- or manufacturer-based breakdown, it highlighted Amazon’s performance in the tablet category. Kindle sales grew by “several thousand percent over its baseline of tablet activations over the earlier part of December,” the report said.

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