Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, June 4, 2018, at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California.
Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images
Apple said Monday that it will pay developers $60 billion in 2021, for a total of $260 billion since the App Store launched in 2008. This figure shows that App Store sales continue to grow rapidly.
By comparison, Apple said in 2019 that it had paid developers a total of $155 billion since 2008. And by the end of 2020, it said it had paid out $200 billion, an increase of $45 billion. Monday’s data showed a $60 billion increase.
The statistic, part of Apple’s broader announcement aimed at showing momentum in its services business, is an important signal for investors and analysts who want to see Apple make money not just from selling hardware but also from sales Services and apps to make money. its clients such as app downloads.
Apple’s payments to developers account for 70% to 85% of its total App Store revenue, which accounts for 15% to 30% of digital app purchase sales.
In the past, a rough estimate of Apple’s total App Store revenue could be made by assuming that payments to developers amounted to 30% of total Apple App Store sales. However, over the past year, the company has changed its commission structure several times in response to regulatory and legal challenges.
In particular, Apple launched its Small Business Program in 2021, which reduces the fee to 15% for developers with less than $1 million in annual revenue. It is estimated that as many as 98% of App Store developers fall into this category, but only a small percentage of total sales.
Apple also launched a program for News apps that will drop their fee to 15% if they provide content to Apple News in August. For all developers, Apple also only charges 15% of the second year of the subscription instead of 30%.
According to CNBC’s analysis, if Apple’s commission is flat at 30%, its App Store sales in 2021 could reach as high as $85.71 billion. If Apple’s commissions were all 15%, it would be lower, at $70.58 billion.
Last year, CNBC’s analysis showed that Apple’s App Store grossed more than $64 billion in 2020 based on a 30 percent commission rate.
Apple also said Monday that it has 745 million paid subscriptions, which include Apple-provided services such as Apple Music and iCloud, but also any customers who subscribe to apps through the App Store. That’s up from 700 million last summer.
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