iTunes has a bumper Christmas

Christmas has been good to Apple, as visits to its iTunes website was up 413% on Christmas Day 2006 versus Christmas Day 2005.

The traffic must have been driven not just by new iPod owners looking to download songs to their new gadget, but also by people who received iTunes gift certificates.

Web analyst Hitwise also revealed that market share of visits to the Apple Store in the US showed an increase of 110% on the same day when compared to last year; it was also the fourth most visited website on Christmas Day.

Microsoft's Zune.net was dwarfed by iTunes, which outnumbered visits to Zune.net by 30 to 1, although visit to the site increase 1030% on December 25 versus the previous Monday. Clearly the Zune was a popular gift from Santa.

Visits to iTunes on 25 December increased by 1222% when compared to the previous Monday.

According to Hitwise, Amazon.com remained the most visited website, while the Nintendo DS was the top product search term.