Apple’s App Store had a health holiday season, the company said Wednesday.
During the two-week period ended Jan. 3, the App Store generated more than $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases, setting weekly records for both traffic and purchases. Apple said Jan. 1 was its biggest day in App Store history, as customers spent over $144 million that day alone.
According to Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, consumers spent over $20 billion on the App Store in 2015. Since its launch in 2008, developers have generated nearly $40 billion from the App Store.
Apple’s App Store launched in 2008, providing iOS users the opportunity to download apps to their iPhones. The App Store has since expanded to Macs and the recently launched an update to the Apple TV.
The App Store has been a boon for both Apple (AAPL) and developers. While there has been controversy over the years on Apple’s policy toward accepting apps into the store, the numbers seem to indicate that developers are benefiting greatly from the App Store’s success. Last year, Apple said developers had earned $25 billion in revenue since 2008. In just one year, that has increased by nearly $15 billion.
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Apple shares in the revenue generated from those apps and in-app purchases. The company has not said exactly how much it has generated off its App Store.
The revenue gain is part of a broader trend across the industry. On Tuesday, Flurry, a Yahoo-owned analytics company, said that consumer time spent on smartphones and tablets in 2015 was up 117% compared with 2014. In total, mobile device usage was up 58% in the last year. Indeed, Yahoo senior vice president of product and engineering Simon Khalaf said in a statement that the mobile industry is showing clear signs of “a fast increase in mobile addicts.”
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In addition to talking numbers, Apple claims that it now supports 1.9 million jobs across the U.S. The company cited a study from Dr. Michael Mandel at the Progressive Policy Institute. “App Economy Jobs in the United States” claims over 1.4 million of those jobs come via the App Store.
That said, the idea of Apple “supporting” jobs is nebulous, to say the least. The company’s figure is made up of several components, including entrepreneurs who create apps for the App Store, software engineers, and “non-IT jobs supported directly and indirectly through the app economy.” The total number also includes attributing how Apple spends its cash with suppliers to support jobs. In theory, taking that money (or the App Store) out of the mix would mean those jobs would be lost.
Apple has made that argument for years, and it has been roundly debated. Critics argue that it’s impossible to say for sure how many jobs a company actually supports or how third-parties will ultimately react to a loss in their funding.
Regardless, it’s clear Apple is extremely important to developers around the world. And if the App Store’s success is any indication, it’ll remain that way in 2016.