Ahead of its developer conference next week, Apple has announced that all-time earnings from App Store developers have topped $70 billion. The App Store launched with iPhone OS 2 in 2008 and has exploded ever since.

In the last twelve months, the company said Apple Store downloads have increased more than 70% …

A $70 billion payout to developers implies about a $30 billion return for Apple itself as it shares revenues in a 70/30 split for most transactions.

On recent earnings calls, Apple has called out the strong revenue growth of its Services business. Much of those increases are attributable to the App Store income.

In a statement, Apple SVP Phil Schiller said that the performance of the App Store was ‘simply mind-blowing’.

“People everywhere love apps and our customers are downloading them in record numbers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Seventy billion dollars earned by developers is simply mind-blowing. We are amazed at all of the great new apps our developers create and can’t wait to see them again next week at our Worldwide Developers Conference.”

The company highlighted ‘breakout hits’ like Pokemon GO as one of the reasons for the App Store’s continuing climb.

Apple says that apps in the Gaming and Entertainment categories bring in the most revenue. This is obviously driven by popular freemium games with In-App Purchases and content subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify for the media apps.

The company says the Photo and Video App Store category has seen the most growth in the last year, increasing at a rate close to 90%. It also calls out Lifestyle, Health and Fitness as strong players rising more than 70%.

Apple revamped its policy on recurring subscriptions last year as an alternative monetization model for developers. Schiller says that paid subscriptions are up 58% year over year.

Apple continues to expand developer opportunities with the rollout of new platforms (Apple Watch and Apple TV) as well as additional App Stores on the iPhone itself, like the iMessage App Store introduced with iOS 10.

Those efforts do not seem to have been as much a success as the main iPhone and iPad App Store though.

The company will announce the next generation of its software platforms in a few days time at the WWDC 2017 keynote on Monday. This will include the unveiling of iOS 11, macOS 10.13, watchOS 4 and tvOS 11.

New features and APIs announced at the event will help developers create more powerful and innovative applications, which will feed into the App Store for the next year and beyond.

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About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.