Despite Apple's failure to release the eagerly-anticipated iPhone 5, new data has suggested that the momentum of the smartphone market shows no immediate signs of slowing. Even though Europe and North America continued to make painstakingly slow progress economically in 2011, Flurry Analytics from Google has suggested that this did not influence consumers in a major way over the festive period.
That's because more than 3.7 million Android devices were activated over the Christmas weekend, according to Andy Rubin, the Senior Vice-President of Mobile at Google. Indeed, independent estimates suggested 6.8 million Android or Apple iOS devices were activated on Christmas Day - more than double the number for 2010.
The rise, experts observed, is partly due to the fact that entry-level smartphones have become cheaper.
And while Google's Android operating system continues to lead the way in the lucrative smartphone market, James Atkinson, former editor of Mobile magazine, explained that the activation numbers were particularly impressive for Apple, especially considering that many consumers had expected the iPhone 5 to launch ahead of the Christmas break.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Atkinson said: "It's always the busiest period, they would certainly have been hoping for a big pick-up. But given that there were plenty of Android phones, and the iPhone 4 was available last year, this is a surprisingly large amount."
Attributing the impressive figures to better affordability, he added: "What you have, certainly with the Android, is that there's been a steady push for cheaper smartphones, which do just as much as the top end models."
The Android operating system, of course, can be found on a wide range of models produced by many different manufacturers, including HTC's popular range of handsets. Apple's iOS, meanwhile, is restricted to the iPhone, iPad and certain models of its iPod music player.
Speculation has suggested that the iPhone 5 will reach stores in 2012 and is already expected to be one of the most popular consumer electronic devices of this year. The handset is likely to have a huge impact on the smartphone market, influencing consumer and design trends.