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A comparatively weak season for iPhone hardware is being offset somewhat by strong App Store sales, as Apple announced today that its app and game stores set new holiday records. The company had released lists of the year’s most popular selections and its own top picks in the middle of the holiday shopping season.

Between 2018’s Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve alone, App Store customers spent over $1.22 billion, while sales on New Year’s Day 2019 set a single-day record of over $322 million. Ahead of its Q1 2019 earnings call on January 29, Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed yesterday that overall “Services” revenue similarly hit an all-time record for the quarter, bolstered by individual record revenues from the App Store, App Store search ads, Apple Music, cloud services, and Apple Pay.

“Thanks to the inspiring work of our talented developers and the support of our incredible customers around the world,” said Apple marketing SVP Phil Schiller, “the App Store finished off an outstanding 2018 and kicked off 2019 with a bang.”

Unsurprisingly, the top-selling category was games, followed by self-care apps, with Fortnite and PUBG leading in the most downloaded games categories, followed by Brawl Stars, Asphalt 9, and Monster Strike. Apple also noted that productivity apps, education, and health and fitness apps have all been strong at the beginning of 2019.


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While the numbers are generally looking good for the App Store, the news hasn’t all been rosy. Leading video streaming service Netflix recently confirmed that it was ending support for iOS in-app subscriptions to its service, depriving Apple of its share of the company’s growing revenue streams. Separately, Fortnite developer Epic Games has expressed a desire to shift more of its cross-platform gaming revenues to its own online storefront.

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