A Very Apple (Especially iPad) Christmas 2013 IT Spending Data

Mixpanel’s second annual Mixpanel Christmas Metrics report takes a deeper dive into metrics from December 25, 2013, to paint a portrait of consumer behavior on a day that many spend with family, friends, and handheld devices,observing that data is one gift that truly keeps on giving.

Every month, Mixpanel analyzes more than 17 billion actions. The Christmas Metrics report is based on actions analyzed by Mixpanel on December 25, 2013, December 25, 2012, and on November 28, 2013 (Thanksgiving). Actions in Mixpanel are defined by our customers and can be anything from making a purchase to finishing a level in a game. Over 1,700 businesses use Mixpanel to better understand their customers’ activity and engagement. All traffic in this report was generated by people in the United States.

Christmas Traditions: Family, Friends, and an Internet Connection

For a day traditionally spent with family and friends, Mixpanel saw that Americans also spent some quality time on their mobile devices. On December 25, 2013, Mixpanel analyzed 1.2 billion actions, a 66% increase over last Christmas (December 25, 2012). And on Christmas Day, a whopping 90% of activity was generated in mobile apps.

They note that there was a significant dip in traffic around 10:30 in the morning, with a sharp spike at noon and another peak at 2:00 in the afternoon, which suggests to Mixpanel analysts that Americans put down the handhelds to open their presents at mid-morning, then jumped back on their devices in the early afternoon once the gift-giving frenzy had died down. The dip is notable when compared to the same chart from December 14, just two Saturdays prior.

The top five cities sending the most data on Christmas:
1. Los Angeles
2. Chicago
3. Houston
4. Brooklyn
5. New York

Mixpanel notes that for residents of California’s Bay Area, it was surprising to see that San Francisco didn’t even make the top 10, perhaps indicating that many people in a city full of transplants from elsewhere traveled home for the holidays.

Santa Isn’t Real, But Christmas is Still for Kids

As Christmas Day continued, Mixpanel noticed an uptick in gaming activity — with 58% of traffic coming from gaming apps, and only 11% coming from social. Their hypothesis is that kids came down from unwrapping and sugar highs while adults documented the morning’s festivities on social networks — or jumped in on playing a game with their kids. Given the huge disparity between the two, they think they’re on solid ground saying that Christmas is a kids holiday, although with the qualifier that Mixpanel has more customers in the gaming vertical than in the social space, which could influence or skew results.

Biggest gaming cities:
1. Los Angeles
2. Houston
3. Chicago
4. Brooklyn
5. Bronx

A Very Apple Christmas?

Tim Cook predicted in October that it was going to be an “iPad Christmas”; and given the data that poured in on Christmas Day, Mixpanel’s editors say they’d be remiss to disagree with him.

THey note that in 2013, over 30% of American adults owned a tablet (with Apple dominating at just over half the market share), and at Christmas they tracked those tablets getting good use — with 10% of traffic generated by web apps, 90% by mobile — and 25% of all data coming from tablets, a pretty remarkable jump from Thanksgiving, which showed only 15% of activity coming from tablets.

Of all tablet use, 79% of tablets were iPads, up from iOS dominating 74% of tablet activity on Thanksgiving this year; a subtle but clear shift toward iOS over the last month, further confirming Tim Cook’s assertion. Of people using iOS devices, 31% of data was generated from iPads, also a notable spike from Thanksgiving Day 2013, when only 19% of iOS traffic came from the iPad.

With games a popular go-to on Christmas Day, of 39% gamers on iOS devices were playing on iPads — an impressive gain from Thanksgiving: just under one month earlier, when only 25% of iOS gaming activity came from iPads.

On mobile activity overall, Mixpanel observed that 73% of all Christmas Day activity came from iOS devices, and 27% came from Android; iOS went up 3% from Thanksgiving, when Android held 29% of activity, and iOS generated 71% of activity.

Top iOS Cities:
1. New York
2. Chicago
3. Los Angeles
4. Brooklyn
5. Houston

Top Android Cities:
1. Los Angeles
2. Chicago
3. Tampa
4. Houston
5. Brooklyn

Stocking-Stuffer Sidenote

Surprisingly (and amusingly for Apple partisans), Mixpanel noted that Mountain View, CA — home to Google’s HQ — is a solidly iOS city, with 81% of activity in Mountain View over the last month coming from iOS devices, while only 19% was Android-generated. By contrast, activity in Apple’s own home base, Cupertino, CA is solidly loyal to their own devices. A full 97% of activity came from iOS devices.

In summary, Mixpanel’s data shows that Christmas 2013 was a mobile, iOS-dominated holiday, with more people relying on their tablets to play, share, document, and work.

For the full report visit here:

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