Apple’s App Store Sales Hit $20 Billion, Signs of Slower Growth Emerge
Apple Inc. said App Store billings topped a record $20 billion in 2015, but growth from the business appeared to slow even as the company introduced apps on new devices such as Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Apple keeps 30 cents of every dollar that flows through the App Store, meaning the store generated more than $6 billion in Apple revenue for the year; the remainder of the money goes to developers.
The figures highlight the growing financial importance of apps for Apple, which posted revenue of $233 billion and net income of $53 billion in the fiscal year ended September. The roughly 1.5 million available apps boost the appeal of Apple’s highly profitable hardware and help to distinguish Apple’s products from its competitors.
Apple created the App Store for the iPhone in 2008, later adding apps catered to the iPad. Last year, it opened a software marketplace for the Apple Watch and its latest Apple TV box. By opening those products to software from outside developers, Apple supplements the basic features of its products with broader and more diverse offerings.
The company said it had its biggest day of sales in the App Store on Jan. 1, when customers spent more than $144 million.
Though the App Store is growing at an impressive clip, there are signs of slowing growth. The company had said App Store billings grew 50% in 2014, but Apple’s figures suggest that sales growth fell to about 40% in 2015. It is hard to say definitively, because Apple didn’t provide exact figures for comparison.
In a news release on Wednesday, Apple said total billings from paid apps and purchases made within apps from iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV customers was “over $20 billion” in 2015.
A year ago, Apple didn’t provide total billings for 2014, saying only they had grown 50% from a year earlier. It had provided a total figure of more than $10 billion for 2013, implying that App Store billings eclipsed $15 billion in 2014.
But Apple also said Wednesday that it had paid out nearly $40 billion to developers since 2008. Last January, Apple put the figure at $25 billion. This implies that developers earned about $15 billion in 2015, meaning billings totaled roughly $21.4 billion, based on Apple’s revenue split with developers.
Using the $21.4 billion figure, billings would have grown about 43% from a year earlier, shy of last year’s 50% pace.