2020 was a tough year for many businesses, but Apple’s App Store wasn’t one of them. In fact, according to a recent study, the App Store “facilitated” a massive $643 billion in billings during 2020 — which represents a 24% year-over-year increase.
The study, called “A Global Perspective on the Apple App Store Ecosystem,” was conducted by Analysis Group, and found that over the past five years, more than 1 in 4 small developers who sell digital goods and services on the App Store have grown their earnings by 25% or more every year. Not only that, but on average, small developers that sell on the App Store have users in over 40 countries.
According to the study, the number of small developers has grown by a hefty 40% since 2015, and small developers make up over 90% of the developers on the App Store. According to Analysis Group, “small developers” are defined as those with less than 1 million downloads and less than $1 million in earnings per 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,” says Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The apps we’ve relied on through the pandemic have been life-changing in so many ways — from groceries delivered to our homes, to teaching tools for parents and educators, to an imaginative and ever-expanding universe of games and entertainment. The result isn’t just incredible apps for users: It’s jobs, it’s opportunity, and it’s untold innovation that will power global economies for many years to come.”
The study also highlighted how people pay for things on the App Store. According to the study, the App Store allows for almost 200 local payment methods, and in 45 local currencies.
The study was highlighted in a press release from Apple itself, and the timing of that is no coincidence. The App Store is under heavy antitrust scrutiny right now, thanks largely to the court battle between Apple and Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite. According to Epic, the 30% commission that Apple charges to large developers is too high. Smaller developers generally don’t have to pay a commission that high. The Apple App Store Small Business Program allows developers who make less than $1 million per year to only pay 15%.