Apple paid out a total of $60 billion dollars to App Store developers in 2021, data released by the tech giant this week revealed.
The company said that since the App Store’s launch in 2008, $260 billion has been paid to App Store developers globally, up from $200 billion a year earlier.
Apple said the figure set a new annual record for App Store developer earnings while noting that it represented “just a small fraction” of the overall commerce that the App Store facilitates.
According to company data, during the most recent holiday season, App Store customers “spent more than ever before between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, driving double-digit growth from last year.”
Commenting on the most recent figures, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, said: “With over 745 million paid subscriptions, Apple continues to connect the world’s developers, artists, and storytellers with users across more than a billion devices, delivering powerful tools, content, and experiences that enrich their lives in profound ways every day.”
But the App Store’s successful year hasn’t come without controversy, with Apple facing increasing scrutiny over its business practices while also dealing with lawsuits linked to the operation of its online marketplace.
For example, the battle with Epic Games rumbles on, with Epic appealing a judge’s ruling in September, which failed to resolve the matter for the video game company.
The case blew up in August 2020 when Epic accused Apple (and also Google with its Play Store) of anticompetitive and monopolistic practices with their respective app stores. As a result, Epic attempted to circumvent the in-app purchasing process in which Apple takes a 30% commission from each sale, with Epic’s measures allowing players to make purchases directly from the developer at discounted prices. Apple responded by booting Epic’s Fortnite game out of the App Store, with Epic firing back by taking the matter to court.
In a ruling released in September last year, the judge said the court could not “ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws,” but ordered Apple to include links in App Store listings that would allow customers to exit the store to make a purchase, thereby giving the developer 100% of a sale. However, as Epic has decided to appeal other aspects of the case, the change to App Store procedures has been delayed.
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