Apple Wins Holiday Season Smartphone Sales

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has dominated holiday season smartphone sales once again. Flurry Analytics estimates that the company captured 44 percent of device activations during the Dec. 19 to Dec. 25 period. Samsung followed at 21 percent, still feeling the effects of its global recall of the Galaxy Note 7. Chinese giant Huawei came in at third position, representing 3 percent of activations. LG, Amazon, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Motorola each accounted for 2 percent of device activations.

Flurry’s estimates cover the week leading up to Christmas as well as the first two nights of Hanukkah. This year Hanukkah and Christmas had an overlap, with Hanukkah starting on Dec. 24. Last year, the Jewish holiday was in early December and ended before Flurry’s measurement period.

Apple’s iPhone was the big seller during the holiday season. The Google Pixel didn’t really make much of a dent in the market, despite the fact that Google has had trouble filling demand for its new device. Neither Huawei nor LG had a device listed within the top 35 devices activated. Both companies offer a plethora of different devices, including low-cost models. Also missing from the list are Nokia and BlackBerry smartphones.

This year, an analysis of the device sizes sold showed some surprising results. Medium-sized phones made up 45 percent of all smartphones and tablets activated over the week leading up to Christmas, down from 54 percent last year. Large phones, often called phablets, grew to 37 percent this year from 27 percent last year. Small phones remained at 1 percent. Full-size tablets stayed stable at 9 percent, while small tablets fell by 1 percentage point to 8 percent.

The iPhone 7 was the top selling device in the three months ending October 2016, reaching 10.6 percent of smartphone sales despite not being available for the full period. Kantar reported earlier in December that iOS holds the greatest market share in Japan, accounting for 51.7 percent of smartphone sales during the October quarter. It also holds 44 percent of sales in the United Kingdom and 40.5 percent of sales in the US for the same period. Huawei, Microsoft, and Google each accounted for 0.5 percent of sales in the US.

Apple’s activations are slightly less than last year, when Apple grabbed 49% of device activations. The company’s iPhone sales this quarter are in question amid reports that iPhone demand is waning. There are also concerns that the iPhone 7 cycle may not be as strong as in years past. Apple reports fiscal first-quarter earnings at the end of January.