Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) ability to beat back the rise of Samsung and of Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android operating system was on full display as new research showed it dominated holiday sales. The power of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as the top smartphones based on consumer demand helped the company hold a huge market share. Apple products were the most popular tech gifts of 2014, with millions of new devices activated on Christmas Day.
According to research firm Flurry:
It’s clear that Santa is no longer into cookies — he prefers Apples. It was a banner Christmas for the Apple, the company that started the mobile revolution with the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007. Seven years later, Apple accounted for 51% of the new device activations worldwide Flurry recognized in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (December 19th – 25th). Samsung held the #2 position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with 5.8% share for mostly Lumia devices. After the top three manufacturers, the device market becomes increasingly fragmented with only Sony and LG commanding more than one percent share of new activations on Christmas Day. Up-and-comers Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than one percent share on Christmas Day. One reason is surely their popularity in Asian markets where December 25th is not the biggest gift-giving day of the year.
Anecdotal evidence, and other research from firms that measure smartphone and app market share, show that Apple has done poorly in recent quarters, often bested by Samsung. However, new Samsung smartphones and tablets have not been the hits they were for the past several years. The problem has eroded Samsung’s smartphone profits.
The data also show the extent to which Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) continues to fail in the smartphone and app markets. The large software company hoped its purchase of Nokia and release of its own tablets would help its cause. That has not happened.
The next step in the proof of Apple’s success is when it releases earnings, which should be spectacular.