Apple's App Store sales top $10bn

iPhone and iPad owners spent a whopping $10bn on apps last year. Angry Birds, Happy Apple.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 09 Jan 2014

Proof that we’re a bunch of game addicts: Apple sold $10bn (£6.1bn) of apps last year, roughly the same amount that it sold in the previous four years combined.

More than $1bn of sales came from December alone. Yes folks, that’s more than three billion app purchases in one month. Instead of basting turkey, we were blasting Pigtroopers.

Apple takes a 30% cut from every sale, which means it generated $4.5bn for its own coffers last year.

The California-based company said that developers have now made a total of $15bn (£9.1bn) by producing apps.

While the App Store sounds like easy winnings for publishers, most apps are thought to receive very few downloads. According to a recent survey by Application Management specialists Camwood, over half the apps currently sitting on the IT infrastructures of UK organisations are considered "obsolete" or "redundant".

The bulk of downloads from the App Store come from a relatively small group of big sellers such as Ellen DeGeneres's Heads Up!, Kevin Ng's Impossible Road and UK developer King’s Candy Crush Saga. The best selling paid-app for the iPhone and iPad last year was Minecraft – Pocket Edition, where users build structures out of 3D cubes to protect against nocturnal monsters. So if you want a big hitter, don't do anything too fancy: build an utterly addictive, mind-numbingly simple game.

The average smartphone owner looks at their device 150 times a day. There’s even an app aimed at app addicts (oh the irony) called Pause, which comes armed with the slogan "Pause the digital. Start the real."

While sales from the App Store are miniscule in comparison to the total $91bn generated by the iPhone last year, its sky-high growth makes it a valuable part of Apple’s overall business.

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