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article imageHoliday season pushes Apple's App Store to record highs

By James Walker     Jan 5, 2017 in Technology
Apple customers "shattered records" over the holiday season through their App Store purchases, Apple announced today. New Year's Day was the App Store's busiest single day ever, with over $240 million of purchases made by users.
Apple made over $3 billion in revenue from the App Store during December, driven by the demand for the most popular apps of the year on new devices being booted up for the first time. Inevitably, Pokémon Go was Apple's most downloaded app of the year. It was joined in the top 10 by Nintendo's Super Mario Run, a game that only launched in December and which "made history" by reaching 40 million downloads just four days after release.
"Record-breaking" holiday season
According to Apple, developer income was up 40 percent over 2015 this year. In total, over $20 billion was paid to app creators throughout 2016. Since the App Store's launch in 2008, developers have earned over $60 million and created over 2.2 million apps.
The holiday season is a traditional record-breaking period for Apple as its products remain at the top of Christmas wish lists the world over. This year the App Store was pushed to new highs, claiming its busiest 24 hours ever on the first day of 2017. Over $240 million in revenue was made from purchases across iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS.
"2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating $20 billion for developers, and 2017 is off to a great start with Jan. 1 as the single biggest day ever on the App Store," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We want to thank our entire developer community for the many innovative apps they have created — which together with our products — help to truly enrich people’s lives."
"A lot of success ahead"
Recently, reports have suggested that the App Store is actually in decline overall. Users are becoming disillusioned with having pages of apps installed on their devices and it is becoming harder to convince people to install new products.
Asked about this research, Schiller denied developers are actually finding it more difficult to make money from apps. In an interview with CNBC, he said the App Store's actual performance is more indicative of its success than the maturity of the smartphone market and reports from analysts.
"I will let the success of the App Store speak for itself," said Schiller. "The App Store is bigger than ever and growing faster than ever. There is a lot of success ahead for developers."
The importance of apps
The App Store is now more than important than ever to Apple because it is becoming increasingly reliant on its marketplace. Although it still enjoys strong iPhone sales each year, the worldwide market for new devices is becoming saturated. With less people to sell hardware to, the company has had to take a step back and establish a strong services business alongside its device divisions.
This year, the App Store has expanded to new devices and additional features have been added. Subscriptions are now offered in the Store, giving customers more ways to spend money. The launch of services such as Apple Music is also indicative of Apple's need to create new revenue streams. With the App Store a critical component of Apple's strategy, the holiday successes will provide reassurance that customers are still engaged with its ecosystem.
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