Apple today announced that the first week of January set a new record for billings from the App Store with customers around the world spending nearly half a billion dollars on apps and in-app purchases, and New Year’s Day 2015 marked the single biggest day ever in App Store sales history. These milestones follow a record-breaking 2014, in which billings rose 50 per cent and apps generated over $10 billion in revenue for developers. To date, App Store developers have earned a cumulative $25 billion from the sale of apps and games. The introduction of iOS 8, the most significant iOS update ever, gave developers the ability to create amazing new apps and offers innovative features which proved wildly popular with App Store customers around the world.
“This year is off to a tremendous start after a record-breaking year for the App Store and our developer community,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re so proud of the creativity and innovation developers bring to the apps they create for iOS users and that the developer community has now earned over $25 billion.”
During the holiday season App Store customers helped make history with their support of Apps for (RED), a special initiative on the store with exclusive content where all proceeds went to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. Apple donated a record-shattering $20 million this quarter, and since partnering with (RED) has donated over $100 million.
Developers of all sizes, across the App Store’s 24 categories, create incredible apps for iOS, and an especially inspired segment is the newest generation of independent game creators, including the UK’s ustwo, maker of the fantastic game Monument Valley; Australia’s Hipster Whale, creator of the clever and intuitive game Crossy Road; and US developer Sirvo, inventor of Threes!, a puzzle game that was named the App Store’s Game of the Year on iPhone.
“We could never have dreamed of this level of success, with Crossy Road only being available on the App Store for the last six weeks of the year,” said Matthew Hall, co-founder of Hipster Whale. “In a couple of months we were able to create a simple, fun game that was featured on the App Store and climbed to the top of the App Store charts around the world—it’s amazing.”
Developer innovation on the App Store in 2014 was fueled by iOS 8 featuring Swift, a powerful new programming language that makes it even easier for developers to create great apps, as well as the introduction of robust frameworks HealthKit and HomeKit. HealthKit lets health and fitness developers share data with the Health app while HomeKit is a framework allowing developers to create software that discovers, configures, communicates with and controls devices for home automation. iOS 8 also introduced developers to Metal, a graphics technology created to maximize the performance of the A7 and A8 chips, which is being embraced by major game developers around the world.
In 2014, the App Store also unveiled new features for developers including app previews and app bundles, TestFlight for beta testing pre-release apps, an expanded Kids Category to showcase apps specifically made for children under 12, China UnionPay as a payment option for customers in China and Apple Pay, making secure purchases even easier.
Since its October release, Apple Pay has been a favourite of customers, merchants and app developers. More banks and credit unions continue to add support for Apple Pay, now representing about 90 per cent of credit card purchase volume in the US. Leading merchants including Bloomingdale’s, Disney Store, Duane Reade and Walgreens are letting their customers enjoy the ease of use, security and privacy of Apple Pay. Some of the most popular apps including HotelTonight, OpenTable, Target and Ticketmaster are also enjoying the convenience and privacy of Apple Pay, making it even easier for users to make secure purchases.
“The response we’ve seen from HotelTonight customers since the introduction of Apple Pay has been fantastic,” said Sam Shank, CEO, HotelTonight. “Our current customer base is enjoying the convenience of Apple Pay and we’re continuing to see a growing number of new customers because of Apple Pay’s easy and secure approach to payments.”
Apple ignited the app revolution with the launch of the App Store in 2008, and since then, an entire industry has been built around app design and development. In just six years, the iOS ecosystem has helped create 627,000 jobs in the US alone.* The App Store offers more than 1.4 million apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in 155 countries around the world, with more than 725,000 of these apps made for iPad. App Store customers can choose from an incredible range of apps in 24 categories, including games, social networking, photo & video, sports, health & fitness, travel, kids and many more.