App Store is a $519-billion-a-year economic engine, Apple says

App Store is a $519-billion-a-year economic engine, Apple says


The App Store facilitates sales of billions of dollars in sales of physical goods.
Apple’s App Store is much more than software sales. It contributes to the economy in many ways.
Photo: Apple

The Apple App Store ecosystem contributed over half a trillion dollars to the global economy in 2019, according to a study commissioned by Apple.

This total encompasses far more than just what iPhone or Mac users pay for software. It includes transactions done through these apps, from grocery deliveries to streaming services.

Apple App Store contributes billions more to the economy than most realize

The new study, conducted by economists at Analysis Group, showed that the $519 billion in total contributions from the App Store are in three categories: physical goods, digital goods, and in-app ads.

The largest of these is physical goods and services at $413 billion in 2019. That’s general retail ($268 billion), travel ($57 billion), ride hailing ($40 billion), food deliveries, etc.

According to these economists, $61 billion of the App Store contribution to the global economy came from digital goods and services. Note that this is more than the money iPhone and Mac users paid for their software. It’s streaming services subscription fees, ebooks, fitness classes and similar services.

And the third category, in-app advertising, contributed $45 billion to the world economy in 2019, according to this study.

The economists note that “more than 85% of total billings and sales supported by the App Store ecosystem accrue solely to third parties.” And, as the company noted in January, from 2019 back to when the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $155 billion from software sales.


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