It was an appy Christma: 242 million apps were downloaded on 25th December 2011 and 1.2 billion across the holiday week of December 25th-31st.
It's the first time app downloads have passed 1bn in a week, said an app market report by app specialist Flurry.
The US consumer did the most downloading at 509 million, followed by China (99 million), and the UK (81 million).
Half of the activated apps were for new iOS devices.
In the UK, Apple's iTunes has emailed its large customer base with an email promoting songs, videos, games apps and app journey planners. The email links to the iTunes collection of journey planners, including free bike navigation apps such as those from Bike Hub (a new version was published in December, allowing for A to A navigation, a world first for a satnav), Cyclestreets and Sustrans.