Samsung Galaxy S21 has steep hill to climb as iPhones dominate Christmas

iphone charger
(Image credit: Apple)

The pressure is on the Galaxy S21 as Samsung gears up for a rumored January 14 launch. Per a new report by Flurry Analytics, it shows that nine out of the top ten smartphone activations went to iPhones on Christmas day, making it an incredibly strong holiday shopping season for Apple. 

According to Flurry Analytics, Christmas day is the single greatest day for smartphone activations. In the top 10, iPhones 8 through 12 Pro Max dominated the charts. Not a single Samsung phone broke the top ten, which raises the stakes for a successful S21 launch. 

Interestingly, at ten, was the budget LG K30 from 2018. The iPhone ruled the Christmas day charts in 2019 as well, also taking nine out of the top ten spots. In 2019, number ten was also an interesting entry with the Xiaomi Mi 4 LTE.

New Device Activations on Christmas Day

(Image credit: Flurry Analytics)

When compared to activations seven days prior to Christmas, models that saw appreciable upticks were the iPhone SE, 12, and 12 Pro Max.

Even then, the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic plus a recession has strapped families. Compared to 2019, smartphone activations were down 23% this year.

Smartphone Activations Christmas 2019 vs 2020

(Image credit: Flurry Analytics)

Regardless of the pandemic or financial hardships, it seems that demand for Apple products continue to remain high. Even its highest-end products, like the $550 Airpods Max, are completely sold out. And the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which starts at $1,100, beat all other iPhone launches from the past three years.

Samsung's Galaxy S21 hopes to crack Apple's dominance with a trio of new phones. The leaks point to lower prices, a faster new Snapdragon 888 chip and longer battery life. But the biggest deal will likely be the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is expected to support the S Pen stylus (as an accessory) and offer dual telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.