Top Tech Products Unwrapped for the 2016 Holidays

January 12, 2017 Trent Brock

technology presents.jpg

He made a list, and he checked it twice. Did you make Santa's nice list? Chances are you unwrapped some sort of device or gadget.

Influential technology analyst Gene Munster told CNBC in late November that Apple's iPhone was the must-have holiday gift for 2016. "The notion that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were only given incremental upgrades from the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may be warranted," he told the news organization. "But the reality is consumers want it."

Munster hit the nail on the head! Flurry, Yahoo's mobile analytics firm, compiled data of phone and app activation (not sales) throughout the week leading up to Christmas and the start of Chanukah. For every Samsung device activated, Apple saw two.

flurry smartphone activations holidays 2016 tech-1.png

While Apple is the clear leader, 2016 wasn't the tech giant's best year. According to Yahoo, Apple's performance dipped after claiming 49.1% of activations for a similar period in 2015. For Samsung, it was a bump up from 19.8%.

When it came to Apple versus Android, Apple won again. TechCrunch reports Mixpanel, an analytics provider, found more new  Apple devices (phones, iPods, tablets) were switched on in the first three days after Christmas than Android devices.

Amazon claims the 2016 holiday season was its "best-ever." The company says it sold a record-setting number of devices from the Amazon Echo family. You can probably attest to that. How many times did you hear a family member say, "Alexa, what's the weather?" Sales were up more than nine times compared to 2015's holiday season.

"Echo and Echo Dot were the best-selling products across Amazon this year, and we're thrilled that millions of new customers will be introduced to Alexa as a result," says Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. "Despite our best efforts and ramped-up production, we still had trouble keeping them in stock. From turning on Christmas lights and playing holiday music to shopping for gifts and asking for help with cookie recipes, Alexa continues to get smarter every day."

Experts are predicting 2017 will be another big year for Amazon's artificial intelligence-based digital assistant. Check out our previous blog post on the other technology expected to be a hit.

When it came to wearable devices, you probably unwrapped an Apple Watch, Garmin, or FitBit. Despite an initial popularity contest controversy, Amazon confirms the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband was indeed the top-selling gadget. Data from Slice also shows Apple Watch sales increased substantially.

Alan Wolfe, Senior Editor at TWICE Magazine, reports the following four tech items were also hits:

  • Philips 55-inch 4K UHD LED smart TV
  • Xbox One S 500GB console, “Battlefield 1” bundle
  • Apple iPad Mini with retina display, WiFi, 32GB, silver
  • Samsung 60-inch 1080p smart LED TV
It's safe to say technology dominated the 2016 holiday season. I know it's early, but let's go out on a limb. What technology have you already put on your 2017 holiday wish list? What gadget do you think will be a hit? Leave a comment below!

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