Apple announced the results of a new study by analysis consultancy Analysis Group on Monday, according to which the App Store was responsible for estimated $ 519 billion in total billing and sales of physical products and services and digital goods in 2019.
According to Apple, only $ 61 billion is digital, and the company may get a 30 percent cut (or 15 percent off longer-term subscriptions). This includes the largest category, mobile games and in-app purchases, some subscriptions and the sale of paid apps.
The study carefully points out that this number does not match the total bills in the App Store. According to Analysis Group, it counts some items like streaming video subscriptions that may have been purchased elsewhere but primarily concern media consumption on an iOS device, as well as corporate app services that are typically provided by a large company for that Use purchased by employees.
In-app advertising, which is also primarily dedicated to mobile gaming, adds an additional $ 45 billion. From everything else – from ride hail software to food delivery apps to Best Buy and Target mobile retail stores – Apple accounts for the remaining $ 413 billion, the study said.
Apple is facing increasing regulatory pressure when it comes to running the app store economy
These numbers are generally consistent with what we know about the company's rapidly growing service business and how much it earns weekly and monthly on the App Store. However, it is interesting to see a concrete breakdown of this granularity.
Why are these numbers particularly important to Apple? Well, the company wants not just developers, but regulators, to view the App Store as a sprawling economy that Apple says is "dynamic, competitive, and thriving."
The iPhone maker is just one of the many large technology companies currently under a closer regulatory microscope in Washington, as the technology-driven task forces of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are more concerned with whether Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google and Microsoft have too much power and use it anti-competitive.
Apple in particular has been criticized over the years for its mandatory 30 percent cut, which has angered companies that run competing services like Spotify, as well as allegations and at least one lawsuit from developers claiming the app store like a monopoly to operate. In the case of Apple's longstanding feud with Spotify, the European Union is currently investigating Apple after its rival for music streaming has filed a formal antitrust complaint.
The added pressure appears to have led to some consumer-friendly new features, such as Siri support for Spotify. Much of the conversation about Apple's relationship with developers today is about whether it is a benevolent dictator who pushes boundaries or, as Apple sees it, a mutual benefactor in a symbiotic ecosystem.
Aside from regulation, the report includes some intriguing numbers that break down app categories by revenue. The study shows that travel apps like Expedia and airline airline apps are responsible for $ 57 billion in bookings and sales, while hail apps and food delivery are $ 40 billion and $ 31 billion, respectively. Generate dollars.
By far the largest sales drivers, as the study calculates, are the mobile counterparts of retail, which also include the mobile apps from large chains such as Walmart and Target:
Of the $ 519 billion that the App Store ecosystem supported in 2019, the study found that sales of physical goods and services accounted for the largest share, at $ 413 billion. Within this category, m-commerce apps generated the vast majority of sales, and retail was the largest at $ 268 billion. Retail apps include those that digitally represent brick-and-mortar stores such as Target and Best Buy, as well as virtual marketplaces where physical goods such as Etsy are sold, but no grocery delivery that is a separate category.
Other types of m-commerce apps were among the largest sources of revenue for physical goods and services. Travel apps, including Expedia and United, accounted for $ 57 billion. Ride hail apps, including Uber and Lyft, had sales of $ 40 billion, and food delivery apps, including DoorDash and Grubhub, made $ 31 billion.
There is also an interesting geographic breakdown that states that the United States accounts for less than half of the total $ 519 billion at only $ 138 billion, while China contributes an estimated $ 246 billion.
Update June 15th, 00:04 ET: Clarified how the study differentiates between estimated sales and billing and total billing in the App Store.
Correction: In an earlier version of this article, the estimated estimated sales and bills in the App Store were incorrect. It's $ 519 billion, not $ 517 billion. We regret the mistake.