Each year, more and more people are getting mobile devices under the tree for Christmas. As that trend continues, it seems that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is benefiting more than other consumer electronics players. According to a recent report from analytics specialist Flurry, over half of these new gadget gifts are iDevices.
Between December 19 and December 25, over 51% of all new device activations were Apple devices. Samsung came in a distant second with almost 18% of device activations. After the top two, there's a pretty steep drop off: Microsoft (via Nokia) grabbed under 6% of activations while Sony and LG each had a little over 1% of activations.
Flurry also tracks the form factor of these new activations. Phablets continue to gain traction, with a whopping 13% of activations falling under this category. That's compared to just 3% of activations in 2012. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are now helping boost phablet adoption, as Flurry says the iPhone 6 was the No. 1 device being activated. The iPhone 6 Plus was one of the top 5 devices.
Inevitably, rising phablet adoption is beginning to cannibalize tablet sales, which isn't entirely a bad thing for Apple. Smartphones are generally used more than tablets, which in turn results in more frequent upgrades. Apple would prefer to get a new user on the smartphone upgrade track instead of the tablet upgrade track. Additionally, iPhones fetch much higher average selling prices than iPads.
Besides, Apple never worries about cannibalization, and neither should investors.
How many iPhones can Apple sell this quarter?
Apple has been working feverishly to bolster supply as it ramps production. iPhone shipping times from its online store continue to improve, suggesting that the company is making progress on the supply front.
On the last earnings conference call, CEO Tim Cook declined to predict whether or not Apple would achieve supply demand balance this quarter, saying that the two were "not on the same planet" at the time.
Expectations for the holiday quarter are rather high. Analysts are modeling for $66.5 billion in revenue, and Apple's own guidance calls for sales in the range of $63.5 billion to $66.5 billion. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who boasts a strong track record, is predicting that Apple could sell as many as 71.5 million iPhones in the fourth quarter.
If Apple hits that figure, it would utterly crush its current quarterly record by 40%: the 51 million iPhones it sold in Q4 2013 (which still managed to disappoint investors). That would be a level of unit growth not seen in years, and would primarily be made possible by the decision to enter the phablet market, a market segment that Apple waited to address.
The good news is that Flurry's figures suggest that Apple may be well on its way to hitting those high expectations.