Apple has released new details about the size of the App Store, its growth, and how developers are making money, amid close scrutiny of the online store’s policies.
The new report shows that business through the “App Store ecosystem” totaled $ 634 billion in 2020, an increase of 24% from the previous year.
Much of this increased activity was the result of the pandemic, and the growth has come from a variety of applications, including those that allow people to chat from home and order food. Others, like transportation apps, saw a sharp decline.
This is the second year that Apple has released the report, and the first that details the full impact of lockdowns and other effects of the pandemic on the way people buy and use apps in its store.
Apple and the authors of the report said some of the changes would likely be permanent, such as increased use of online tools in education, while others could be more temporary, the company said.
“I certainly think there are a number of topics that are here to stay: video conferencing; virtual meetings; virtual workouts, once you get started, I don’t think they’re going to go away; use apps to support your children’s education, ”said Christopher Moser The independent.
The number of jobs supported by this ecosystem has also increased, according to the report. It now stands at 330,000 in the United Kingdom, up 10% from the previous year,
Apple also pointed out how the App Store has been used by small developers. The number of these small developers has increased by 40% since 2015, he said, and they represent 90% of developers.
The report states that “one in four small developers who sell digital goods and services on the App Store have increased their revenue by at least 25 percent each year over the past five years,” and that 80 percent of small developers were using the App Store to show their products in different countries.
The new report – commissioned by Apple and produced by an external research group – also comes at a time when App Store scrutiny is perhaps higher than ever. Just weeks ago, Apple bosses including chief executive Tim Cook defended its policies in a lawsuit against Epic, and the post comes days before Apple’s annual developer conference.
As a result of this lawsuit, some developers have criticized how Apple seemed to suggest that the developer should be grateful for the opportunities offered by the platform. Overcast developer Marco Arment, for example, raised issues with Tim Cook’s comments which seemed to suggest that Apple saw itself as creating the money spent through its App Store.
“Apple believes all iOS commerce is 100% owed to them, and we owe them,” he wrote on Twitter during the Epic lawsuit. “The reality is more complicated. It’s a symbiotic ecosystem, most of which was going to happen somewhere regardless of their actions, with both sides providing each other with value.
Mr Moser, however, said the company was trying to “build a partnership” with the store’s developers and had a number of options for distributing its apps. He said the report showed users were grateful for the features that came with downloading apps from the service,
“Really, we see our mission as a kind of safe and reliable environment, a safe and reliable space, where customers trust the App Store with their personal data; don’t worry about deals, deals and most importantly, driving developer growth, ”he said. The independent. “At the end of the day, they’re in the App Store, where they choose to develop the App Store – and they could choose to develop for many other outlets or distribute software – because they’re interested in a kind of dialogue with the many customers that we were able to bring together towards in-store service.
When asked why he thought Apple was able to increase the number of developers on its service so dramatically, he replied that he was looking to stand out by “building[ing] the best and safest environment for developers and customers ”.
“At the end of the day, the store’s mission is for you to find great apps that you are looking for, and second, to discover new apps that you may not have encountered yet,” he said. “I think that’s what we spend most of our time on.
“But having a reliable and secure environment is the key to success and will continue to be so in the future. “
The App Store was first revealed on the iPhone 12 years ago. It has grown significantly since then, with 1.6 billion iOS devices now available globally and downloads in 175 countries – but that growth has also drawn criticism from companies like Epic, who claim its size and its power have allowed Apple to impose abusive conditions. on these developers.
The full report, titled “A Global Perspective on the Apple App Store Ecosystem” and compiled by Analysis Group, is available on Apple’s website.