Apple's iPhone 6s Plus phablet increases in popularity for Christmas

Apple shines with just under 50% of Christmas mobile device activations, and the popularity of phablets like the iPhone 6s Plus continues to grow


Apple has done very well in recent years in terms of mobile devices sales. The company's iPhones, iPads and even iPod touch devices have dominated holiday sales in a way that no other single company can quite match.

This year Apple managed to snag 49.1 percent of all mobile device activations for the Christmas holiday. That's slightly down from last year but still better than any other single company on any platform.

Juli Clover reports for MacRumors:

Apple devices accounted for just under half of new mobile device activations during the holiday season, according to a new report released today by mobile analytics firm Flurry. 49.1 percent of all new devices activated were Apple devices, and while that number is slightly down from last year's 51.3 percent, Apple still dominated all other mobile device companies.

Samsung devices, for example, were responsible for 19.8 percent of all device activations, while Nokia devices made up 2 percent and Xiaomi devices made up 1.5 percent of all device activations.

apple christmas sales 2015 b Flurry

Larger-screened "phablets" like Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus were especially popular during the 2015 holiday season compared to prior years, representing 27 percent of new device activations. That's up from 4 percent in 2013 and 13 percent in 2014. Full-sized tablets have gone down in popularity, making up only 9 percent of new device activations in 2015.

Medium-sized iPhones like the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 were still the most popular Apple devices over the holiday period at 65 percent, followed by full-sized tablets, phablets, and smaller tablets like the iPad mini. Comparatively, only 35 percent of Android devices activated were medium-sized smartphones, while 50 percent were phablets.

More at MacRumors

Apple's iPhone 6s Plus phablet grows in popularity

One of the things that struck me about this report was the increase in popularity of Apple's phablet phones, particularly the iPhone 6s Plus. The larger iPhones have increased in activations by 14 percent from last Christmas, and that's an amazing number when you think about it.

I have to admit that I too have jumped on the phablet bandwagon. I initially bought an iPhone 6 Plus when they became available, then switched down to an iPhone 6s. But after using the smaller phone for a while I ended up going back to the larger screen size, and just got an iPhone 6s Plus yesterday.

So I can understand why so many people opted for the iPhone 6s Plus for Christmas. Once you get used to the larger screen, it's very difficult to go back to a smaller phone like the iPhone 6s and be happy with it. The screen just feels too darned small and cramped.

In my case I realized that the iPhone 6s wasn't a whole lot better than the iPhone 6s Plus in terms of one-handed use, so why bother dealing with the smaller screen? I decided to just say goodbye to smaller phones and stick with Apple's phablet for my mobile needs. And so far it's worked out great.

It's not just Apple's customers that are enjoying larger screen phones, if you look at the numbers for Android users you'll see that about half of all Android phones sold for Christmas were phablets too. So it's clear that the public has really moved toward larger screen devices in a big way.

Tim Cook must be a happy guy after seeing the Flurry report

Phablets aside, Apple's dominance of mobile devices sales for Christmas show that the company is still making products that the public wants to buy in a big way. Tim Cook and his fellow executives at Apple must be very happy indeed after seeing the report by Flurry.

Next year at this time, we'll be checking out the same report and it will be quite interesting to see if the iPhone 7 - which may have a brand new design without a headphone jack - lifts Apple back up over the 50% mark in terms of mobile device activations. Given Apple's past history of dominance, I wouldn't bet against the company.

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