We’re just one week into 2015, and already the App Store is setting new sales records. Apple today announced that during the first week of January alone, customers around the world spent almost half a billion dollars on apps and in-app purchases, with New Year’s Day 2015 the single biggest day in App Store sales history.
You might think Christmas Day is the App Store’s most lucrative day, what with million of people unwrapping brand new iOS devices for the first time and itching to download new apps and games for them. But it seems people are just too busy — or too exhausted from so much food — to spent time browsing the App Store.
Instead, New Year’s Day is the App Store’s biggest, and this year’s following a record-breaking 2014 in which billings rose 50 percent and apps generated an incredible $10 billion for developers.
“This year is off to a tremendous start after a record-breaking year for the App Store and our developer community,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re so proud of the creativity and innovation developers bring to the apps they create for iOS users and that the developer community has now earned over $25 billion.”
Apple says the introduction of iOS 8, the company’s most significant iOS update to date, is one of the reasons why users are downloading more apps than ever before. The new features Apple has allowed developers to build into their apps — such as support for Touch ID, custom actions, and new sharing options — have proved “wildly popular” with customers.
“We could never have dreamed of this level of success, with Crossy Road only being available on the App Store for the last six weeks of the year,” said Matthew Hall, co-founder of Hipster Whale. “In a couple of months we were able to create a simple, fun game that was featured on the App Store and climbed to the top of the App Store charts around the world—it’s amazing.”
Apple has also credited the introduction of Swift, its new programming language, and Apple Pay for fueling developer innovation and driving more downloads.
Increased downloads don’t just mean more revenue for Apple and developers, but also the charities it supports. During the holiday season, Apple kicked off its latest (RED) campaign to raise money for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, and a record $20 million was made this quarter. The figure takes Apple’s total (RED) donation to over $100 million.
Over the past six years, the iOS ecosystem has helped create 627,000 jobs in the U.S. alone, Apple says. There are now more than 1.4 million apps available in the App Store, and over 725,000 of them are made for the iPad.