Apple claims 'half a trillion dollars' App Store economy

Apple has said that its App Store ecosystem "facilitated half a trillion dollars" of trade in 2019.

The firm said more than 85% of that figure occurred via transactions from which it did not take a commission.

The announcement comes at a time Apple and other US tech giants are facing increased anti-competition scrutiny.

A leading developer has also called on the iPhone-maker to lower the fees it charges, ahead of its annual developers' conference next week.

An Apple representative told the BBC that it was proud of the commerce that it had enabled and welcomed scrutiny of its App Store.

Work and leisure

The study was commissioned by Apple but carried out by economists at the Boston-based consultancy Analysis Group.

It surveyed billings and sales related to apps running on the tech firm's iOS, Mac, Watch and Apple TV platforms.

This included:

  • in-app advertising via apps such as Twitter and Pinterest
  • the sale of physical goods via apps such as Asos and Amazon
  • the sale of digital goods and services via apps including Mario Kart Tour and Tinder
  • travel bookings via apps such as Uber and British Airways
  • food deliveries via apps including Just Eat and Deliveroo
  • subscriptions to media apps including the Times newspaper and Netflix
  • subscriptions to work apps including Zoom and Slack

The report attempted to account for spending that occurred externally but led to content being used within an app - for example a direct payment to Spotify, whose songs were then listened to via its iPhone app.

Likewise it subtracted a proportion of the charge of in-app purchases whose content was used elsewhere - for example a Now TV subscription taken out via Sky's app, if most of the shows were then watched directly on a TV's own app.