In a new post on its Newsroom website today, Apple touts that the App Store ecosystem supported $519 billion in billings and sales globally in 2019 alone. This data is based on a study conducted by independent economists at the Analysis Group.

This announcement from Apple comes ahead of WWDC 2020, during which Apple generally touts the financial impact the App Store has had on developers around the world. Things are a bit different this year, given the all-online format of WWDC.

Apple explains that one of the biggest revelations in this study is that the direct payments developers receive from Apple through the App Store “are only a fraction of the vast total.” Apple says:

The study reveals that the direct payments made to developers from Apple are only a fraction of the vast total when sales from other sources, such as physical goods and services, are calculated. Because Apple only receives a commission from the billings associated with digital goods and services, more than 85 percent of the $519 billion total accrues solely to third-party developers and businesses of all sizes.

In the press release, Apple CEO Tim Cook explains that the App Store offers “enduring opportunities for entrepreneurship” even in “challenging and uncertain times” such as now:

“The App Store is a place where innovators and dreamers can bring their ideas to life, and users can find safe and trusted tools to make their lives better,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“In a challenging and unsettled time, the App Store provides enduring opportunities for entrepreneurship, health and well-being, education, and job creation, helping people adapt quickly to a changing world. We’re committed to doing even more to support and nurture the global App Store community — from one-developer shops in nearly every country to businesses that employ thousands of workers — as it continues to foster innovation, create jobs, and propel economic growth for the future.”

The study found that of the $519 billion supported by the App Store ecosystem, physical goods and services accounted for the largest share, at $413 billion. Retail apps are said to be the largest of that, including those such as Target and Best Buy, as well as virtual markets like Etsy. These retail applications accounted for $268 billion in 2019, the study says.

Other notable data points:

  • Travel apps, including Expedia and United, accounted for $57 billion
  • Ride-hailing apps, including Uber and Lyft, comprised $40 billion in sales
  • Food delivery apps, including DoorDash and Grubhub, made up $31 billion
  • Billings and sales from digital goods and services comprised $61 billion, and this category included apps for music and video streaming, fitness, education, ebooks and audiobooks, news and magazines, and dating services, among others.
  • Games were the most downloaded type of app in 2019
  • In-app advertising sales accounted for $45 billion, 44 percent was derived from games.

Finally, Apple says that the App Store is now home to almost 2 million apps and visited by half a billion people each week around the world. “It helps creators, dreamers, and learners of all ages and backgrounds connect with the tools and information they need to build a brighter future and a better world,” Apple concludes.

You can read Apple’s full post about this study from the Analysis Group right here.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Apple July 4 sale Adorama

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

Tips, questions, typos to