Smartphones: Champions of the 2011 Holiday Season

As it would seem, the most popular devices of 2011’s holiday season weren’t tablets or laptops or even Rokus, but in fact, smartphones. On Christmas day, a staggering 6.8 million smartphones were activated, more than double last year’s 2.8 million unit figure. So just which smartphones deserve the spot light here?


The iPhone

It comes as little surprise that the iPhone made up a good portion of that 6.8 million units, and while Android phones as a whole outsold the iPhone, it’s still an impressive feat considering that the iPhone 4S held the most sales out of any single device (at somewhere around 3 million units). The 4S was also the most returned device following Christmas, and by a rather large margin. The reason for the high return rate is uncertain. It could be that people felt that the 4S didn’t offer much noticeable improvement over their current model, or perhaps they were enticed by the better spec’d Android phones on the market, and tempting after-Christmas sales (which are still going on).


Android Phones

As a whole, Android phones made up for about 55% of smartphone activations on Christmas day, though no single Android device could compare with the iPhone 4S’ impressive figures. But there are definitely still a few notable contenders.


The Galaxy S II

Available on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, the Galaxy S II gave people a lot of options in terms of plan pricing and coverage – its record breaking specs certainly didn’t hurt either. With its 1.2Ghz to 1.5GHz processor and 4.3 to 4.5-inch screen (depending on carrier), it appealed to many considering an iPhone but wanted a bit more power or screen space. Estimates put Galaxy S II activations around 1.5 million. The only people who couldn’t get in on the action were Verizon Wireless subscribers.


The Galaxy Nexus

Fortunately for those on Verizon, there was a (arguably) better option: the Galaxy Nexus. While it shares a similar 1.2GHz processor to the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy Nexus features a stunning 4.7-inch 720p HD display, a first for smartphones. It also features Google’s latest version of Android and comes 100% free of any manufacturer or carrier bloat. Sales figures on the Galaxy Nexus weren’t overly impressive, though, since it wasn’t marketed all that aggressively, much like the previous Nexus devices.


The Droid RAZR

Instead of going for the Galaxy Nexus, Verizon subscribers flocked to the Droid RAZR, an ultra thin, uber sleek phone with equally impressive specs. Plus you get that bit of nostalgia if you ever owned one of the original Motorola RAZR phones in the past. They really did do a surprising job of capturing the original look in smartphone form.


The BlackBerry Torch

If you’re a BlackBerry fan, you probably already know that the Torch 9810, 9850, and 9860 is where RIM stepped up its game to compete with today’s current smartphones. Now you can have things like 4G, Wireless-N, and even a modern 1.2GHz processor all with the BlackBerry OS 7 users have grown to love.



Did we mention that Smartphone deals didn’t end with the holidays? In fact, many of the huge sales started just after Christmas, and many are still going on. T-Mobile in particular is hosting one last big sale day this weekend. If you’re a T-Mobile subscriber and you’re due for a new phone, you may want to consider the Galaxy S II or HTC Amaze, both phenomenal smartphones.

Editor in Chief alaTest.com : Arie Struik

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