Apple App Store facilitated $519 billion in commerce and sales globally in 2019 and more than 85 percent of the $519 billion total accrues solely to third-party developers and businesses of all sizes, a new study by Apple has revealed.
The new study, conducted by independent economists at Analysis Group, found that the highest value categories were mobile commerce (m-commerce) apps, digital goods and services apps, and in-app advertising.
“The App Store is a place where innovators and dreamers can bring their ideas to life, and users can find safe and trusted tools to make their lives better,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement late Monday.
“In a challenging and unsettled time, the App Store provides enduring opportunities for entrepreneurship, health and well-being, education, and job creation, helping people adapt quickly to a changing world,” he added.
Of the $519 billion, the study found that sales from physical goods and services accounted for the largest share, at $413 billion. Within that category, m-commerce apps generated the vast majority of sales, and of those, retail was the largest, at $268 billion.
“Retail apps include those that digitally represent brick-and-mortar stores such as Target and Best Buy, as well as virtual marketplaces that sell physical goods, such as Flipkart, Lenskart and Myntra but do not include grocery delivery, which is its own category,” the findings showed.
Travel apps, including Ixigo, Cleartrip and Makemytrip, accounted for $57 billion. Ride-hailing apps, including Ola Cabs, comprised $40 billion in sales, and food delivery apps, including Zomato, Swiggy and Freshmenu, made up $31 billion.
Billings and sales from digital goods and services comprised $61 billion, and this category included apps for music and video streaming, fitness, education, ebooks and audiobooks, news and magazines, and dating services, among others.
Games, the type of app most downloaded in 2019, was the largest generator of billings and sales within this category. In-app advertising sales accounted for $45 billion, and of that, 44 per cent was derived from games.
Non-gaming apps that generate substantial in-app advertising sales are often free to download and use, such as Twitter and Pinterest, though others also offer in-app purchases to access content, such as The New York Times.
Launched in 2008, App Store is currently home to almost 2 million apps and visited by half a billion people each week across 175 countries.
“We’re committed to doing even more to support and nurture the global App Store community from one-developer shops in nearly every country to businesses that employ thousands of workers as it continues to foster innovation, create jobs, and propel economic growth for the future,” said Cook.
According to the study, the direct payments made to developers from Apple are only a fraction of the vast total when sales from other sources, such as physical goods and services, are calculated.
Apple only receives a commission from the billings associated with digital goods and services.