Christmas Day is now about more than just gifts and food with family. It’s about apps too. In a weird but logical way, we as smartphone users have now created a holiday within a holiday. December 25th is still Christmas Day, but it’s also now App Developers Day. Stay with me on this, and it’ll all make sense. The same way that the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year, December 25th is now the busiest day for app developers and app publishers. Why you ask? Because legions of people across the globe get smartphones as gifts, and the first thing they’re going to want to do is play with them. What’s the biggest thing about smartphones? The Apps. There is never absolutely nothing to do on Christmas Day, but that doesn’t mean what is happening is going to be any fun.
The same typical Christmas movies and television specials are on TV every single year, and what comes after opening presents and eating one of the largest breakfast or brunch meals you have ever seen, is quite frankly a lot of sitting or laying around. Tons of deals happen throughout the year in a push to gain subscribers, users, download numbers and whatever else an app developer/publisher can do to increase the success of their app. To say the least, the people on their team that handle this particular task have their hands full. This is why Christmas has become the perfect time to release apps, because plenty of people will be sitting around playing with their phones and checking out what new apps they install. In fact, 30% of Americans that own smartphones or tablets plan to download apps on Christmas Day according to SOASTA(which is an app testing platform).
There’s proof to back up this theory of Christmas Day being the perfect day to release apps and games. A study that was done by analytics firm Flurry shows that last year alone there were close to a total of 328 million app downloads during Christmas Day. Sure, it’s just a high number of downloads, big deal right? It is when you consider how many apps were downloaded on the same day the year before. In 2011, Flurry recorded about 36% less apps downloaded when compared to December 25th last year in 2012. That’s a pretty big increase year over year. As stated by Readwrite.com, if we consider the amount of apps downloaded during Christmas in 2011, then follow the trend of increased app downloads for last year and apply it to Christmas of this year(which at the time of publication was yesterday), we could be looking at 450 million app downloads on Christmas Day alone. If you think about that for a second, it makes you wonder what number of downloads apps will reach during Christmas of next year.
All of this information is obvious to developers and app publishers. Which is why they start preparing for things in the month of September, and allow for testing to begin two months later, with a goal to release their products a couple weeks before Christmas. Its actually pretty smart if you think about it, because then it gives the app/game a couple of weeks to set in and gain some ground in the store, and come Christmas Day it just might have hit a featured page in the top 50. As smartphones become more a part of our daily lives, they find a way even into our much beloved holidays. Flurry will most likely have information about the number of apps downloaded on Christmas fairly soon, in which case we’ll be sure to update you on this interesting trend. What apps or games did everyone download yesterday? Personally, I updated Reaper and Nightbird Trigger X, and then proceeded to play them whilst the family enjoyed the same boring Holiday movies.