Apple has revealed that customers spent a record amount of cash on apps over the holiday season, marking the App Store’s biggest-ever holiday period.
In the two weeks leading up to January 3, consumers spent $1.1 billion on apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV — including in-app purchases. New Year’s Day was the single biggest day in the App Store’s history, according to Apple, with $144 million passing through the online store. This broke the previous record, which was set on Christmas Day just a week earlier.
The fact that the App Store saw record sales on Christmas Day followed by a new record on New Year’s Day is probably not that surprising, given that these are days many people are likely to be playing games, downloading apps, social networking, and generally consuming content.
To give these numbers some additional context, Apple says that developers have earned $40 billion since 2008 — more than a third of which came in the last year alone. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, adds that $20 billion was spent in the App Store in 2015.
Apple brought a myriad of new products to market in 2015, including the Apple Watch, a new Apple TV, and a new iPad Pro. These may partly explain the bumper App Store numbers, but it will likely be the continued popularity of the iPhone, which saw two new models go on sale in late 2015, that had the greatest impact. Apple reported a year-on-year increase of 22.1 percent in iPhone sales in October. An increasing focus on China, too, may have helped drive App Store sales.
The timing of Apple’s announcement is notable, however, as it comes just a day after one report suggested the Cupertino company is cutting the production of its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in Q1 2016 to let retailers shift existing stock. Apple’s shares fell 2.2 percent in afternoon trading, and shares are down a quarter overall from its record highs back in April.