2012: A Memorable Mobile Year

  • Christmas 2012 saw record iOS and Android device activations, while industry reports show App Store downloads soared by 87 percent.
  • Both the Apple App Store and Google Play saw healthy revenue gains in 2012, with more monetization and potential for global growth ahead in 2013.
  • 2012 was (finally!) the year of mobile – from the launch of the iPhone 5 to Android device supremacy. But some say we’ll look back on 2013 as the year of the tablet.
  • Will Apple unveil a new iPhone in 2013? This is just one of many predictions industry experts are making for the new year.

TheNextWeb reports that Christmas Day 2012 saw a record 17.4 million iOS and Android device activations – or 2.5x more than Christmas Day 2011 – according to Flurry. And new stats from Distimo indicate that daily downloads in the Apple App Store increased by 87 percent on Christmas Day, while revenues increased by 70 percent. This data “supports the common idea that developers should make a point to take advantage of the holiday season by updating and tweaking their apps in the weeks leading up to the 25th of December,” writes TheNextWeb’s Emil Protalinski. The 2012 holidays also marked a turning point in the history of mobile marketing, with more campaigns and shopping conducted on smartphones and tablets than in years past. If you’re interested in learning which holiday mobile marketing strategies worked well this year (and which ones didn’t), we invite you to join our free Mobile Marketer webinar on Jan. 24 – register here.

TechCrunch reports on the latest findings from ABI Research which show that mobile apps hit 43.6 billion downloads worldwide between September 2011 and September 2012, with Apple’s App Store leading the pack. In fact, all the app stores felt the boom of the mobile economy during 2012. Daily revenue in the Apple App Store grew 21 percent in 2012, while Google Play’s app revenue increased 43 percent, reported Steve Smith of MediaPost. Android’s operating system also realized remarkable gains in the latter half of 2012 with its improved user experience and scale of penetration. Device-wise, international growth also surged – the iPhone in Japan, China, and Russia; and Android devices in Korea, Japan, and France.

While pundits have been proclaiming "the year of mobile" for a few years, now, 2012 actually lived up to those expectations in several ways. But what will be shaking the industry in 2013? Greg Sterling of Marketing Land predicts that a year from now, we’ll look back on 2013 as “the year of the tablet.” According to a recent Nielsen survey, the gadget children and adults desired most this holiday season was the iPad, and many unwrapped Apple’s tablet Christmas morning. In fact, of the 17.4 million devices activated Dec. 25, 51 percent were tablets.

And what will make headlines in 2013? Will it be a new iPhone from Apple? A new flavor version from Android? Will Motorola make its first official flagship device for Google? Dan Rowinski of ReadWrite makes some bold predictions on what’s to come for mobile in 2013, especially after a year of tremendous industry growth.

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