The Christmas holiday saw a record number of iOS device activations, and as usual, a nice spike in app downloads for developers (thanks to all of those new devices on the market). But Distimo just shared a report that says Christmas might not have been as merry as we thought for app developers this year. While iPhone app sales and downloads did spike, up to 87 percent above the average for December, that spike is nothing compared to last year's 230 percent spike. In other words, the trend of big sales around the holiday season appears to be leveling off just a bit.
The iPad fared slightly better, with downloads seeing a 140 percent spike. That's sizable (and it speaks to how popular the iPad mini especially has been this holiday season), but it's not the kind of jump we saw just a few years ago, when all of this holiday commotion started.
So what does this all mean for the big picture? I suspect it means that we might not see developers quite so eager to go for big holiday sales in the next year -- there were some incredibly huge sales in the past few weeks, and those were put in place partly because developers expected this big spike in downloads. But if the spike isn't as big, devs might be more convinced to hold to their standard prices, or try other tactics to drum up sales over the holiday season. This trend of big sales and spikes over the Christmas holiday has been growing for a few years now, but this is the first sign we've seen that it may be heading in the other direction.