Apple Inc. started 2017 off with a bang with an impressive $240 million in App Store sales on New Year’s Day alone, the highest-earning single day the App Store has ever seen.
According to Apple, the Jan. 1 sales follow an incredibly successful year for the App Store, which raked in over $20 billion for developers in 2016. That represents a more than 40 percent increase over iOS developers’ 2015 earnings, and Apple says that to date, developers have earned a total of $60 billion through the App Store. Based on Apple’s standard 30 percent cut of app sales, that means that the company has earned about $25.7 billion from app sales alone.
Unsurprisingly, Apple revealed that the most-downloaded app for 2016 was the phenomenally successful Pokemon Go, but Super Mario Run also became a serious contender despite releasing at the end of the year with a hefty $9.99 price tag. In fact, Super Mario Run broke a record itself by hitting over 40 billion downloads within just four days of its release, and Apple says that the game nabbed the top spot for the month of December.
Games have continued to be a major driver of app earnings over the last year. A recent report by SuperData Research Inc. found that mobile game revenue topped $40.6 billion in 2016.
A good deal of the App Store’s recent growth can be attributed to Apple’s rise in popularity in Asia, particularly in China, which saw an astounding 90 percent year-over-year growth rate last year. Apple also introduced the ability to pay for subscription-based services such as Netflix or HBO Now directly through the app store. According to the company, this helped increase App Store subscription billings by 74 percent in 2016.
The App Store’s stellar performance shows why Apple is still a hit with developers despite the fact that iPhones are losing market share to Android devices. A number of studies have shown that while Android phones outnumber iPhones, the App Store is still generally a better place for developers to make money. A Q2 report by AppAnnie last year estimated that iOS apps actually earn four times the revenue of their Android counterparts.