A record-breaking 6.8 million iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas Day and over 242 million apps were downloaded, according to mobile application analyst firm Flurry.
The last week of December, known as the 'power week', heralded over 20 million iOS and Android activations, more than any other week in the history of the mobile platforms.
Early sales estimates suggested that the iPhone 4S was going to be the most popular smartphone during the Christmas season, while devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S II would help to boost the presence of Android.
Flurry stated that 1.2 billion apps were downloaded between Christmas Day and the end of the year, marking the first time that a billion apps have been downloaded in a week.
Smartphone users in the US led the way, carrying out 509 million downloads (42.3 per cent) over the holiday season. This was over five times the number of downloads in second-placed China (99 million).
However, Flurry noted that this was unsurprising as the US has 109 million active iOS and Android devices, out of a worldwide install base of 246 million.
Meanwhile, consumers in the UK notched up 81 million apps to come in third place. Canada and Germany rounded off the top five, with 41 and 40 million downloads respectively.
Flurry expects the downloads to continue exceeding the one billion mark per week as devices grow in popularity during 2012.
"While iOS and Android growth continues to amaze, the market is still by all measures relatively nascent," noted Peter Farago, vice president of marketing on the Flurry Blog.
"We look forward to continuing to chart the unprecedented adoption of mobile computing devices, usage of applications and the way in which this technology is changing consumer behaviour worldwide."
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