Apple announced Tuesday that App Store sales exceeded $10 billion in 2013, including $1 billion in December alone. According to the press release, iOS developers have now earned over $15 billion. Apple also reported that there are now over 1 million iOS apps available, including over 500,000 designed specifically for the iPad. The press release highlights some of the surprise hits of 2013, such as Ellen DeGeneres’ Heads Up ($0.99, games), ProtoGeo’s Moves ($2.99, health & fitness), Simon Filip’s Afterlight ($0.99, photo & video), and Kevin Ng’s Impossible Road ($1.99, games). And it highlights some of the year’s most successful games that were created by international developers, including Candy Crush Saga (free), Puzzles & Dragons (free), Minecraft ($6.99), QuizUp (free), and Clumsy Ninja (free).
“We’d like to thank our customers for making 2013 the best year ever for the App Store,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The lineup of apps for the holiday season was astonishing and we look forward to seeing what developers create in 2014.”
What impresses me about this app revenue is that, unlike the wild swings in revenue associated with Apple's devices and computers, this revenue stream is steady—and steadily increasing. Apple is seen mostly as a hardware business, but apps and media are an increasing portion of their revenue. Apple has been very astute in broadening their offerings in this way.
To illustrate how steadily this aspect of Apple's revenue is growing, Macworld noted that initially it took Apple two years to earn $3.6 billion from the App Store. Very soon it will be making that much money per quarter. This will still be a small percentage of Apple's overall revenue, though. In the most recent quarter, which ended in September, Apple overall earned $37.5 billion. And the company projected it would earn between $55 and 58 billion in the quarter ending in December.