Developers have earned more than $260 billion through the sale of digital goods and services on Apple’s App Store since the launch of the platform in 2008, the company said.
Last year, they earned $60bn on App Store, almost $15bn or over 33.3 per cent more than the earnings of 2020.
The iPhone maker said it created a “new yearly record for App Store developer earnings” last year.
It said this holiday season alone, App Store customers “spent more than ever before between Christmas eve and New Year’s eve, driving double-digit growth from last year”.
“2021 brought a slate of blockbuster launches to the App Store, with the world’s leading entertainment companies choosing to premiere marquee movies like ‘Black Widow’ from Disney+ and ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ from HBO Max in-app on the same day as their theatrical release,” the Cupertino-based company said in a statement.
Apple made the announcement on Monday as it disclosed the performance of its digital services unit.
This is an important announcement for investors and analysts. It sends out a message that the company is making money not only through selling hardware (products such as iPhones, iPads and Apple Watch) but also through selling services and apps to its customers, industry experts said.
In October, to attract more customers, App Store also launched In-App Events, timely events within apps and games such as game competitions, movie premieres and livestreamed experiences.
The App Store is one of the world’s biggest app marketplaces, home to more than 1.8 million apps and visited by more than half a billion people each week across 175 countries, according to data released by the company in June.
Apple pays developers between 70 per cent and 85 per cent of the total income from its App Store. It takes between 15 per cent and 30 per cent of income generated from purchases made in apps, depending on the type of content.
“Apple’s world-class portfolio of services proved essential in 2021, as people worldwide sought new ways to keep entertained, informed, connected and inspired,” the company’s senior vice president of services Eddy Cue said in a statement.
With over 745 million paid subscriptions, “Apple continues to connect the world’s developers, artists and storytellers with users across more than a billion devices”, he added.
In the last financial year that ended on September 25, the company reported a record $365.8bn in net sales and $108.9bn in operating income, representing 33 per cent and 64 per cent annual increases, respectively.
The company’s total revenue from services unit grew almost 27.2 per cent annually to more than $68.4bn in the 12-month period.
On January 3, Apple's market value briefly rose above the $3 trillion mark, shattering yet another record and underscoring how the Covid-19 pandemic has turbocharged Big Tech’s decades-long rise.
Apple’s stock was trading at $172.19 a share in the after-hours trading on Monday, giving the company a market valuation of more than $2.81tn.