Apple’s announced a 24 percent year-on-year growth in its App Store ecosystem on Wednesday, saying that the store generated $643 billion in billings and sales during 2020. The company cited a study by economists from the Analysis Group to say that developers selling goods and services across many categories grew their businesses while reaching customers around the world. The study, named “A Global Perspective on Apple App Store Ecosystem,” takes an in-depth look at how the App Store supported small businesses. Apple said that the number of small developers worldwide has grown by 40 percent since 2015 and they make up more than 90 percent of App Store developers. Small developers are defined as those with fewer than 1 million downloads and less than $1 million in earnings across all their apps in a year.
“Developers on the App Store prove every day that there is no more innovative, resilient or dynamic marketplace on earth than the app economy,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. More than 1 in 4 small developers who sell digital goods and services on the App Store have grown their earnings by an average of at least 25 percent each year for the past five years. Nearly 80 percent of small developers on the App Store are active across multiple countries’ storefronts and on average, these developers see earnings from users in more than 40 countries.
Apple says that the ability to reach an audience worldwide gives developers of all sizes opportunities not just for themselves, but for their teams and communities as well. The Global Perspective on Apple App Store Ecosystem study says that the App Store enables app businesses of all sizes to reach customers across 175 countries and regions.
In an estimate for Europe and the US, the study cited by Apple found that more than 75 app-based companies for whom iOS apps are central to their businesses have gone public or been acquired — with a total valuation of more than $510 billion at the time of their offering or sale.
The Apple App Store supports 40 languages, almost 200 local payment methods, and 45 local currencies. Apple also says that it has helped the thriving community of small developers build apps with more than 250,000 application programming interfaces (APIs) included in 40 software development kits (SDKs).
The App Store, which was first launched in 2008, is home to over 1.8 million apps and is visited by more than half a billion people each week across 175 countries.