App Store developers have earned more than $260 billion since the store launched in 2008, according to a Monday press release from Apple. Apple said last January that developers had earned more than $200 billion since the launch of the App Store, so the new figure shared Monday indicates developers earned $60 billion in 2021. The iPhone maker also said that spending on the App Store between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in 2021 grew by a double-digit amount, though it didn’t specify exactly what that number might be.
While the new numbers suggest that the App Store continues to be a big moneymaker, developer unhappiness with the store is high at the current moment. Many developers have taken issue with what they see as restrictive store policies, particularly the 30 percent cut Apple takes from many transactions. Apple is still embroiled in a legal dispute with Fortnite-maker Epic Games over the App Store, and although Apple arguably got off well from the Epic Games v. Apple ruling, that ruling has been put on hold, meaning Apple won’t have to let developers point customers to alternative payment systems outside the App Store for the moment.
Monday’s press release also included a stat first shared during its October earnings: there are more than 745 million paid subscriptions to services from developers and Apple. In recent years, Apple has added new premium services like News Plus, Fitness Plus, and Apple TV Plus to its roster of services offerings. The strategy seems to be paying off, given the new all-time high for services revenue reported during the October earnings, but it’s unclear how many subscriptions to Apple’s own services are counted in that 745 million.
Correction, January 10th, 6:19PM ET: The 745 million paid subscriptions to services includes subscriptions to both developers and Apple, not just Apple, as we originally reported. That number was also shared in its October earnings, not first on Monday as we said. We regret the errors.