Two weeks after the conclusion of the Epic Games v. Apple trial over the latter’s allegedly anticompetitive app store policies, Apple used its WWDC keynote to defend these policies and tout the App Store’s success. “Since the beginning, we designed the App Store to be a safe and trusted place,” Ann Thai, Director of App Store Product Marketing told viewers during the keynote, adding that “users can just focus on finding the right app, knowing Apple has reviewed every app to make sure it meets our high standards for security, privacy and safety.”
Thai also revealed that the App Store serves nearly 600 million visitors a week and that Apple has paid out more than $230 billion to app developers since the App Store’s inception in 2008. That figure has grown from $155 billion in January 2020, an acceleration helped in part by the introduction of the App Store Small Business Program, which reduces Apple’s commission from 30 to 15 percent for developers making less than $1 million a year. Apple claims that the app industry has created more than 1.5 million jobs each in the United States and across Europe since 2008 in what could be described as the 21st century gold rush.
While Apple understandably likes to emphasize the success that third-party developers are having on the App Store, the company participates in that success to no small extent. Assuming an average commission rate between 20 and 30 percent, Apple probably raked in between $20 and $30 billion in app store commissions since January 2020, making apps a central pillar of its quickly growing services segment.
This chart shows the cumulative amount of money earned by app developers on Apple’s App Store.
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