"While, the holidays in general and Christmas in particular are not the sole indicator of the smartphone market share and trends," said Jarah Euston, Flurry's vice president for analytics and marketing, in a post outlining new data on new mobile device activations, "it is safe to say that Apple's newly released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have had a blockbuster holiday season, despite a lackluster holiday season for the consumer electronics industry."
Flurry's confidence in Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone line this holiday season stems from its findings that the company accounted for the lion's share of new mobile device activations from Dec. 19 to Dec. 25.The report on mobile device activations, based on data from more than 600,000 apps using Flurry analytics, reinforces the Street's bullish outlook for Apple's iPhone sales at the end of the year.
Santa loves Apple
"More likely than not, Santa brought an Apple device," Euston said. During the week leading up to and including Christmas, Apple mobile devices accounted for 51% of new device activations worldwide, according to Flurry. Second place Samsung trailed far behind with an 18% share of new device activations.
"To put this in perspective, for every Samsung devices that was activated, Apple activated 2.9 devices. For every Microsoft Lumia device activated, Apple activated 8.8 devices," Euston explained.
And Flurry's data is solid: When Flurry released a similar study in 2012, the analytics company said it detected over 90% of all new iOS and Android devices activated each day. With the number of apps using Flurry analytics more than doubling since then, I'd presume the fresh app data provides an even more accurate measure of device activation today than it did in 2012.
Flurry cited the iPhone 6 line, which offers two phones with larger displays than previous iPhone models, as the key reason for Apple's big week. The growing popularity of smartphones with larger displays, Flurry said, likely served as a key catalyst for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during the holiday week.
A hot-selling iPhone means big money for Apple
The iPhone accounts for 56% of Apple's sales. And with Apple expected to report record iPhone sales in its fiscal first quarter, the tech giant's iPhone segment will likely account for more company revenue than ever before.
Flurry's report isn't the only data pointing to a big quarter for Apple's iPhone. KGI Securities' well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimated that first-quarter iPhone sales could soar 40% compared to the year-ago quarter. Furthermore, a survey by UBS analyst Steven Milunovich in November suggested there would be a high level of Android switchers, thanks to the appeal for the iPhone 6 line.
Analysts, on average, expect Apple to report record earnings per share of $2.54 during for the first quarter, up 23% from the year-ago quarter. While much of this rise will be attributable to Apple's share repurchases over the past 12 months, analysts also expect record iPhone sales to play a key role in driving the financial results. Propelled by expectations for record iPhone sales, analysts, on average, predict Apple to report quarterly revenue of $66.5 billion, up 15% from the company's previous record set in the year-ago quarter.