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Angry Birds hits record downloads over Christmas

updated 01:15 am EST, Thu January 5, 2012

Nearly one copy for every smartphone activated

As part of an overall record-setting Christmas in terms of both device activations and app downloads, Rovio has seen a record number of downloads of its various Angry Birds versions (including the regular game, the "Seasons" variant and Angry Birds Rio), totalling 6.5 million copies on Christmas Day, AllThingsD reports. The company saw less than a third of that number, two million downloads, on Christmas 2010.

Although a likely coincidence, the number of downloads closely matches the estimated number of smartphone activations that also happened that day. The number of devices that can play Angry Birds has gotten significantly larger over the course of 2011, with some 475 million smartphones of various brands having been sold over the course of the year. Apple alone is expected to have sold more than 100 million of that total, making it the largest single manufacturer of smartphone devices.

Apps generally did well over the Christmas season, with estimates from Flurry suggesting that more than a billion apps were downloaded in the final week of 2011, which included Christmas Day. Even given those exceptional factors, Rovio's total is still remarkable given the overall age of the game and its variants, which first debuted in December 2009.

Some versions of the game are paid apps, but free "lite" versions are available on most platforms, with the Android version being ad-supported due to the smaller percentage of paid apps purchased by Android customers. The game also recently debuted on the Blackberry Playbook, though this did not play a significant role in the download totals.

Rovio says it has releases lined up for the coming year and will likely continue adding new levels and other bonuses to the existing Angry Birds versions, a technique that -- along with merchandising and tie-ins -- has kept the game at or near the top of the sales charts on all platforms. [via AllThingsD]

by MacNN Staff



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