With another holiday shopping season behind us, we wanted to understand which devices fared the best amongst consumers.

As we did after Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend last month, we analyzed new device activations over Christmas weekend to see which devices came out on top. As we always stress, these numbers do not represent the sales of these devices, but rather the amount of devices that users activated and began opening and using apps.

Apple Dominates the Top 5

All of the top 5 spots for new device activations over the Christmas weekend belonged to different iPad models, with the newest Mini and Pro models leading the pack.


To come up with these percentages, we looked at all new device activations during Christmas weekend and compared it with new device activations during the prior three weekends in December.

While many look for Black Friday to provide the best deals, the weeks leading up to Christmas also provided discounts which users could not ignore. Many large retailers, such as Best Buy, offered discounts on iPads leading up to the holiday. Best Buy discounted the iPad Mini 4 by $100, all iPad Pro 9.7 inch and iPad Air 2 models by $125, and the iPad Pro 12.9 inch by as much as $200. Additionally, the iPad Mini 2 was being sold for as low as $260 at Walmart, which may have helped this older model make such an impact this Christmas season.

This Year’s Apple Devices Still Lag Behind Last Year

Similar to our comparison of last year’s new Apple models to this year’s new models over the Thanksgiving Weekend, we wanted to see how Christmas weekend treated each year’s new devices. And just like in our previous analysis, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus had a better Christmas weekend in 2015 than the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus did in 2016.

The iPhone 6S saw a 52% lift during Christmas weekend 2015 compared the average of the three prior weekends, while the iPhone 7 saw a 25% lift during the same period in 2016. Additionally, the iPhone 6S Plus yielded a 21% increase of activations during the Christmas 2015 weekend versus 8% for the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016.


It is also worth noting that while the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus still lagged behind the performance of new device activations for its predecessor last year, they did perform stronger over Christmas weekend than during Thanksgiving/Black Friday, where they only saw a lift of 13% for the iPhone 7 and a lift of 1% for the iPhone 7 Plus.

Google Pixel Activations Slow Considerably After a Strong Thanksgiving Weekend

We previously reported the Google Pixel experienced the highest lift of new device activations during the Thanksgiving weekend. Christmas weekend, however, was not as kind to the newest Google model. With just a 13% lift in new activations compared the three prior weekends in December, the Pixel has shown a drop off since it’s sharp increase in late November.

While the Google Pixel has a long way to go before it rivals the numbers shown by the Apple or Samsung Models, it has shown the ability to grab the attention of a notable amount of users. While Apple will likely continue to demolish Google in both units sold and revenue, the first Google phone seems to be off to a decent start.

Overall Device Market Share

As we close out 2016, we decided to take a look at the current market share across all Apple and Samsung devices.


The iPhone ‘6’ models continue to hold the highest amount of market share with 33%. The iPhone 7 continues to pick up steam as it now sits at 13% of the market compared to the 5.1% we last reported.



The iPad Air models currently sit at the top of the market share of all iPads at 35%, followed closely by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation (iPad 2, 3 & 4) iPads at 30% and the Mini models at 28%. The Pro models are lagging with just 7% of the market, but the strong showing during Christmas weekend could help these models build momentum in the New Year.


Samsung Phones

The most popular Samsung phones are made up of the ‘Galaxy S’ and ‘Galaxy Note’ models. With so many Samsung models to choose from, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the market share of each device is much closer than that of the iPhones. As Samsung tries to bounce back from the Galaxy Note 7 chaos, it will be interesting to see if a current model can break free from the pack or if a new model could be released to shake things up.



Localytics is the leading mobile engagement platform across more than 2.7 billion devices and 37,000 mobile and web apps. Localytics processes 120 billion data points monthly. For this analysis, Localytics examined the percentage increase of new devices on Christmas Weekend (Dec 24th – Dec 26th) to a baseline of the prior 3 weekends in November (Dec 3rd – Dec 5th, Dec 10th – Dec 12th, Dec 17th – Dec 19th). This data is US based. A new device is defined as a device that is seen by Localytics for the first time by downloading one of the apps incorporating our SDK. For the market share data, we examined the relative percentage of each model as of Dec 27th 2016. Market share data is global.

Read more: