Today in Apple history: App Store developers earn $10 billion and counting

Today in Apple history: App Store developers earn $10 billion and counting

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In its first five years, the App Store becomes an unstoppable money machine, paying out $10 billion to app developers.
In its first five years, the App Store becomes an unstoppable money machine.
Photo: Apple

June 10 Today in Apple history: App Store developers earn $10 billion and counting June 10, 2013: Apple passes a major milestone in iOS history, as payments to app developers top $10 billion on the App Store’s fifth birthday.

Speaking at WWDC 2013, Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals that the company paid out half of this money in the previous year. He also notes that this outrageous total is three times more than all other app store platforms combined. With 575 million user accounts registered, Apple has more credit cards on file than any other company on the internet.

People have downloaded 50 billion apps in total out of a collection of 900,000 available, Cook says, with 93% of the apps downloaded at least once every month.

App Store: Fast path to success

It’s an extraordinary success story for Apple. When the App Store opened its virtual doors in July 2008, it did not enjoy the company’s full support. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs initially disliked the idea of letting users sully the iPhone by running apps not crafted by his company.

However, he changed his mind when he realized there was money to be made. Lots of money.

After that, the App Store went from strength to strength. By September 2008, it hit 100 million downloads. It reached 1 billion by April 2009. Apple, meanwhile, took home 30% of each app sold, giving the company another lucrative revenue stream.

App Store payouts hit $100 billion in 2018

Here in 2022, the App Store is now 14 years old. Apple has paid out far more than $100 billion to developers. The App Store attracts 500 million visitors a week. Even during the COVID-19 crisis, the App Store proved to be surprisingly resilient.

However, the App Store’s amazing success — and Apple’s strict rules for running it — have drawn the attention of antitrust regulators around the world. In 2021, the company cut its App Store commission rate to 15% for the “vast majority” of developers who earn less than $1 million a year from the store.

Cupertino continues to highlight the App Store’s benefits to developers, even as some continue to decry its iron-fisted rule. For instance, Apple said the App Store stopped an astonishing $1.5 billion in fraud during 2021.

Do you remember the very first app you ever downloaded from the App Store? If you are an iOS developer, how has life changed for you over the past decade? Let us know your thoughts on the topic in the comments box below.