It’s been an exceptionally profitable holiday for Apple and Google, according to research firm Flurry Analytics, which claims that it can detect device sales based on “apps monitoring” and use that to come up with a “roughly 100%” accurate picture of total device activations. We don’t have official press statements from Apple or Google yet, just a Twitter dispatch from Google’s senior VP of mobile (more on that in a moment), so consider this a best guess until we do.
Measuring the number of new mobile devices detected on December 25 by monitoring its roughly 140,000 client apps, Flurry estimates that 6.8 million Android and iOS devices were activated on Christmas Day. That’s a whopping 353% growth over the average number of devices detected a day between December 1 and 20 — mostly the result of tablets and smartphones given as gifts. Compared to Christmas 2010′s previous single-day record of 2.8 million device activations, says Flurry, Christmas 2011 surged by “more than 140%.”
Google, for its part, claims 3.7 million devices were activated between December 24 and 25 (the company’s senior VP of mobile, Andy Rubin, tweeted as much early this morning). If we reason, as Fortune does based on a prior tweet from Rubin, that the number of Android devices activated on Christmas Day would top off at 3 million, and we subtract that from Flurry’s 6.8 million figure, we land — shakily, granted — at 3.8 million Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices activated on December 25, giving Apple the Christmas Day edge.
Flurry also looked at app downloads and found that 242 million were downloaded on Christmas Day, compared with an average of 108 million a day from December 1 to 20 — a 125% jump. Flurry also says the peak download times on Christmas were between 7pm and 10pm.
We’ll see what Apple says during its earnings call in January, but in the meantime, Flurry says it’s expecting roughly one billion total app downloads (across all platforms) between Christmas and New Year’s Day.