A study by Analysis Group has found that Apple’s App Store ecosystem grew by a whopping 29pc in 2022.
Apple has announced that its app ecosystem generated $1.1trn in total billings and sales last year, more than 90pc of which was commission free and went directly into developers’ pockets.
Published yesterday (31 May), the study, conducted by Analysis Group and supported by Apple, looked at what it calls the “continued growth and resilience” of the company’s App Store ecosystem and noted some key statistics.
It found that the app ecosystem grew by 29pc in 2022, up from $868bn in 2021 and $643bn the year before. Of the $1.1trn in billings and sales last year, $910bn was from the sale of physical goods and services, $109bn from in-app advertising and $104bn from digital goods and services.
“More than 90pc of this figure originated from transactions that did not happen through the App Store, meaning that these amounts accrued solely to developers and other third parties and that Apple collected no commission on them,” the report noted. “The share of billings and sales that accrue solely to developers has continued to increase year-to-year.”
According to the study, Apple – often criticised for its high commission fees on the App Store – only collects a commission on app purchases, in-app purchases and in-app subscriptions that go through the App Store.
No commission is collected on purchases of digital goods and services that happen outside of apps, such as subscribing to a newspaper through a web browser, or on purchases of physical goods and services through apps such as ride hailing and groceries, or on in-app ad revenue.
“We’ve never been more hopeful about — or more inspired by — the incredible community of developers around the world,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “As this report shows, the App Store is a vibrant, innovative marketplace where opportunity thrives, and we’re as committed as ever to investing in developers’ success and the app economy’s future.”
The EU accused Apple of anti-competitive behaviour two years ago because of high commission fees in the App Store. It found Apple to be in a “dominant position” with its practices and said the fees charged by the company are unfair because its own apps are available in the store too.
More recently in December, Bloomberg reported that Apple is preparing to let alternative app stores on iPhones and iPads in order to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which aims to boost competition and is set to come into force in 2024.
Apple has been critical of the DMA in the past. In 2021, CEO Tim Cook said allowing alternate methods of putting apps onto iPhones would “destroy the security of the iPhone” and would not be in the “best interest of the user”.
10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.