The iPad Mini 4 Dominates Black Friday Weekend

It’s that time of year again when stores are crowded and websites crash as shoppers hope to find the deals of a lifetime. As data nerds, and to get into the holiday spirit, we naturally decided to examine which devices, new and old, fared best across the Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy. As well as which day of the holiday weekend had the most activity. 


Who Were the Black Friday Winners?

Two phablets, two tablets and one phone saw the most new device growth over the Black Friday weekend, as measured by the most new devices activated from Thursday Nov 26 through Monday Nov 30 versus a baseline average of the past four weekends.



Not surprisingly, most major retailers, including Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, had deals for all of these models beginning on Thanksgiving Day. The iPad Mini 4 showed the most growth at 89%, supporting the prediction that it would be the model with the most deals this year. The model was quietly released in September 2015, and many believed retailers would reduce the price by as much as $100. Staples did just that, enabling shoppers to get a new iPad model without breaking the bank.

Android devices also had a strong showing over the Black Friday weekend, capturing the number 2 and 3 spots, respectively, in the list of most activated devices. The Galaxy S6 was released in April and was the recipient of many deals, including a reduced price tag of $200 from Amazon. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 was also sold for a modest price of $119 at Best Buy and Office Max.


How Did the New iPad and iPhones Fare?

Apple has recently introduced one new tablet, the iPad Pro, and two new iPhone devices, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. We recently reported that adoption of these new models has been slow, but did this past weekend give them a boost? 

The iPhone 6s showed the highest growth from the previous 4 weekends with an increase of 36%, followed by the iPhone 6s Plus at 29%. Most major retailers were offering these phones at discounted prices or with gift cards to the stores. These models surely benefited, as they experienced higher growth than last years 6 and 6 Plus models.



It is not surprising that the iPad Pro had the lowest growth during the holiday weekend, as the device was not discounted at all. Apple does not partake in Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and the device is too new for retailers to discount. Despite this, Apple should be encouraged that their newest tablet attracted some buyers despite the myriad of available options. 

It is important to note that since the iPad Pro was released on November 11th, its average baseline was calculated with only the previous two weekends data. 


iPhones and iPads Fared Better in 2015 Than 2014

Last year, our data showed iPads and iPhones had the highest percentage increase the weekend before Thanksgiving, while this year we saw the growth happening during the Black Friday Weekend.



Despite the difference in timing, when comparing Black Friday weekends for 2014 and 2015, the iPhones performed very similarly during both years. The iPhone 6 Plus did have a better 2015, as the model increased by 15% compared to just 4% during Black Friday 2014. Best Buy was selling the model for $99.99 with a 2 year contract, which likely contributed to the increase.

2015 was a much better year for iPads as well. Even though iPads aren’t as popular as they once were, shoppers seemed to take more advantage of the deals this year. iPads found great success at Target, with the retailer reporting they sold an iPad every second between online and in-store sales. The iPad Mini 2 especially had a much better year as it is currently the cheapest iPad model, making it very attractive to buyers on a budget.


Saturday Deals Saw the Most New Device Activation

We also took a closer look at the impact of many retailers’ decisions to extend their deals into the days before and after Black Friday to understand which days saw the most activity. 



Surprisingly, Saturday had the highest activation percentage for Apple devices, with Sunday as a close second. Some deals beginning on Friday were extended into Saturday and some for Cyber Monday were moved up to start on Sunday. With the best deals not necessarily on Black Friday, shoppers seemed more willing to wait until the weekend.

Cyber Monday had the worst performance for these devices, which shouldn’t come as a huge shock as most people expect that day to be more popular for toys, clothes, or beauty products.  As deals and discounts continue to expand outside of the confounds of just Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers may begin to put less stake in the importance of those days.


The App Purge Continues

The holidays represent the most profitable and the riskiest time of the year for app makers. As so many new devices are bought, it is vital for app marketers to stay ahead of the curve and make sure users bring their app to the new device. While our data doesn’t distinguish between the difference of a new user and an existing user (just a new device), app marketers can, and should, act now to take advantage of the opportunity and avoid the risk.

On the opportunistic side, new devices bring new users who regularly test out new apps, giving app publishers a chance to grow their app user base. One of the best ways for marketers to take advantage of this is by focusing on their app store listing, as the app store is often the first experience a user had with your brand. Leverage your existing, happy users to solicit new app store ratings, because data has shown that great app ratings equals more downloads.

On the risk side, rather than trying to figure which users will churn, we recommend focusing more on preventing the purge. Stop spending time figuring out who will churn and instead start testing different ways to get them to stay. Using predictive behavioral analytics, marketers can intervene in a meaningful and targeted way before users are lost.



Localytics is the leading lifecycle engagement platform across more than 2.7 billion devices and 37,000 mobile and web apps. Localytics processes 120 billion data points monthly. For this analysis, Localytics examined the percentage increase of new devices on Black Friday Weekend (Nov 26th - Nov 30th) to a baseline of the prior 4 weekends in November (Oct 31st - Nov 2nd, Nov 7th - Nov 9th, Nov 14th - Nov 16th, Nov 21st - Nov 23rd). A new device is defined as a device that is seen by Localytics for the first time by downloading one of the apps incorporating our SDK. The iPad Pro’s baseline average was for the weekends Nov 14th - Nov 16th and Nov 21st - Nov 23rd, as it was released on November 11th. For the analysis on what day had the most activity, Localytics examined the Apple products with the most reported deals, the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPad Mini 4, iPad mini 2, iPad Air, and iPad Air 2 and found the total percentage of new devices for these models on Thanksgiving (Nov 26th), Black Friday (Nov 27th), Saturday (Nov 28th), Sunday (Nov 29th) and Cyber Monday (Nov 30th) out of the total number of devices for these days. To see the difference between Black Friday 2014 and Black Friday 2015, Localytics took the published numbers from the report published last year and put them up against the data collected this year.


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