The iOS Economy, Updated

In its latest update on the App Store Apple reported that iOS developers earned $26.5 billion in 2017. A year ago the figure was $20 billion. The growth rate is then about 33%. The cumulative payments to developers can be calculated as $86.5 billion. This amount was generated in a span of less than 10 years, with the first billion paid by June 2010.

The following graph shows the history of cumulative payments and the corresponding payment rate (in $/yr.)

Note that this represents the payment to developers, not the spending by the customer. Apple keeps about 30% of the revenue.  The total spending on the App Store is then about 43% higher.[1]. The equivalent figures for spending on the App Store are shown below.

A few observations:

  • Developer payment rate is now above $25 billion/yr. I’ve been notified via Twitter that this is higher than the revenue of McDonald’s Corporation in 2016.
  • During this year iOS users will be spending about $100 million per day for Apps. This was Google’s AdWords revenue rate in 2012.
  • The spending on App Store has been rising steadily, adding about $5 billion/yr since mid 2011.
  • Apps are the biggest component of Apple services and helped that segment gross over $57 billion in 2017, passing Fortune 100 level (net of developer payments).

I’ve made comparisons before with the app business being bigger than the film industry (and much bigger than the music industry.) This was considering Android revenues and iOS combined as “app revenues”.

As of this year the App Store alone will overtake Global Box Office revenues.

Of course this is only an observation of the scale of App Store rather than a judgement of the benefit obtained from either medium or the substitutability of one for the other.[2] The reason scale should be noted is that the App Store, and Apple services overall, is becoming one of the largest enterprises in the world. Even more importantly, it should be noted for its rate of growth.

Even when considering this, one should keep in mind that the figures of revenue and payments to developers are only a small fraction of the overall app economy. Apps sold to end users are a subset of all apps on the App Store. There are not only free apps but also many apps which are front-ends to complex services which are monetized in various indirect ways.

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tencent, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, Google, Baidu, Instagram, Amazon, eBay,, Alibaba, Expedia, Tripadvisor, Salesforce, Uber, AirBnB and hundreds of others are all “free” apps enabling hundreds of billions of dollars of interaction none of which are captured in the App Store revenue data. The vast majority of activity for the top commerce, communications and media properties are now coming through mobile devices.

By weight of users and their propensity to engage, iOS enables about 50% to 60% of mobile economic activity.

Based on assumptions of revenue rates for mobile services and iOS share of engagement, my estimate of the economic activity on iOS for 2017 is about $180 billion. Including hardware sales, the iOS economy cleared about $380 billion in revenues 2017.

Additional assumptions around growth rates suggest that iOS economy will achieve the half trillion revenue rate in 2019. Valuing this, especially as a part of Apple’s intrinsic value, is a challenge but it’s probably worth doing. There are implications in the robustness or sustainability of the underlying business.

  1. During the last year some types of app subscriptions have been priced by Apple at 15% of gross so I adjusted the payment rate to 72% for 2017 []
  2. The substitutability of apps for movies is not to be discounted either. The analysis should be based on understanding the jobs the media are hired to do. []
  • beidaren

    “Apps are the biggest component of Apple services and helped that segment gross over $57 billion in 2017, passing Fortune 100 level (net of developer payments).”

    think $57 billion is a typo, it should be $27 billion

    • bsimpsen

      At $26.5B, Apps are the biggest component of Apple’s entire service segment, which grossed over $57B in 2017. There’s no error.

    • Not a typo.

  • Walt French

    This *IS* worth noting. But I wonder whether, historically, anybody would’ve tied together all business done via the post office, as the “Mail Order Economy,” linking it to the (then, totally public) US Post Office. Certainly, widespread, daily mail service in the country marked some sort of turning point in the way that business & personal life was done.

    Ditto, the “Ma Bell Economy.” A total consumer revolution, if 1960s’ complaints about teens tying up the home line, justifying a second line for the well-off, are to be taken seriously.

    Is there any historical information that’s comparable?

    • Kizedek

      There might be something comparable, but I don’t think US Post Office is, necessarily:

      The Post Office doesn’t directly benefit from the value of goods sent through the service, just the postage.

      Likewise, Apple doesn’t really benefit directly from the amount of subscription business that those services with free apps do outside of the App Store.

      Yet, Apple benefits more directly than the post-office.

      Postage/stamps might be the equivalent of the App cost. In some cases, Apple is not receiving any, for free Apps.

      However, Apple is selling the iPhone, iPad, etc. So, it would be like the Post Office not only selling the envelopes, boxes, brown paper, twine, tape, etc., (which perhaps it does, in many cases), but also something with more value and margin, like the computers and printers that produce the documents that go in the envelopes.

      Sounds like Horace is saying that In 50-60% of the cases where a User is invested in a service with a free iOS and/or Android app, Apple is benefitting from an iOS device sale.

      If the Post Office also sold printers and ink/paper to half the people sending documents through the Post Office, that would be something.

      The Post-Office would be kind of like Google in that case… a service-oriented company trying to get into hardware. What percentage of the users of Google services choose a Pixl phone vs an iPhone? Not many.

      Apple users, as we know, account for a significant portion of Google’s revenue. And as much as mobile/iOS is a part of that, then the iOS “App Economy” is also significant.

      While that might not directly impact Apple’s own bottom line (except for acquisition fee from Google of course), it ought to be taken into account by analysts and investors as a positive for Apple if they are being bullish about Google.

      If the people who account for half the revenue/volume (though less than half the number of users) who make Google and Dropbox and Facebook and Amazon and all the others as profitable as they are choose Apple devices, then a growth in that “app economy” is growth for Apple (more device sales), and the their collective successes are linked.

    • klahanas

      Funny you picked monopolies (in their time) as examples. Any significance?

      • Kizedek

        You’d like there to be wouldn’t you. I think, though, that Walt was just trying to find an example of something ubiquitous, like smartphones. “Everyone” uses a smartphone today; “everyone” used to send letters. Who could benefit the most from “everyone” sending letters? Probably the Post Office.

        Arguably, Apple benefits as much or more from the ubiquity of the smartphone than any other player… despite not being a monopoly, whatever you continually like to imply.

      • klahanas

        The author titles about the “iOS Economy”, which to me implies an “iOS market”.

        It makes sense (to me) that an ecosystem which is incompatible with others, for technical reasons, with barriers to entry and exit is it’s own market.

        To use the same yardstick, so is Android, WP, Symbian, etc. Nothing wrong with that. They are their own distinct “markets”

        Walt French mentions examples where the companies were monolopolies at the time. I was asking him if in his mind this was of significance.

        Then, of course, we have all the bundling, forced integration, and anti-competitive business practices MS did in the ‘90s, which rightly penalized MS, though IMO was too lenient.

        Which brings me to your post…which highlights all the anti-competitive aspects you so admire… Only Apple controls, with an iron anti-competitive fist I may add, the iOS market. All aspects of it.

        Don’t like my argument this way? How about 500MM to 900MM users under anti-competitive conditions.

        Question whether Apple has the right to be anti-competitive to your heart’s delight. It doesn’t change that they are.

      • Kizedek

        Well, talking about “economies” (and therefore buying practices and transactions, etc): If I have an Android device, I likely don’t have something as private and secure to pay with as the on-device, 64-bit encrypted Apple Pay; but if I have an Apple device I can, PLUS use other methods as well?

        Anyhow, the “delight”, as you put it, is largely that Apple is (uniquely) an exemplary hardware and software company that is trying to make their already compelling devices even more valuable through adding useful services, while not relying on my general economic habits because they got a good device sale. That has a bearing on my delight, however much you might try to dismiss it.

        The exact opposite of Google, which is a service company that relies on tracking habits and selling them, to eke out an existence from a piece on both sides of every transaction. Their whole business model is horizontal, so it’s hard to get away from that sleaziness, whatever “competition” or “openness” is touted. But, enjoy it to your heart’s content. It doesn’t change who they are.

      • klahanas

        Your attack on Google means nothing to me.

        If MS couldn’t bundle in an anti-competitive manner, a principle I agree with, imagine how I feel about Apple.

        Anyway, you’ve not answered the question, no one is forbidding what Apple offers, just the exclusion and censoring of internal competitors, especially regarding applications. No one would be forcing you to buy from internal competitors had they existed.

        PS- Regarding Google, we actually are on the same side. Since I can’t control whether Google makes money from me (due to their deals upon deals on web visits), then they should be regulated as a public utility.

      • pk_de_cville

        Ah. Got Criminal Bundling?

        Microsoft, yes.

        Apple, nah.

        But go ahead, argue the legal case.

      • Kizedek

        The difference is, Mac OS and iOS are not sold/licensed to OEMs. I’d like to see the Google Pixl running Microsoft Windows. Not gonna happen, is it?

        When that happens, you can begin to make a case against Apple.

      • klahanas

        There is nothing preventing anyone for compiling Android for the Surface.

        Anyway, this is about exclusive integration. MS got busted for the lamest of reasons, and that was too much, for integrating Internet Explorer into Windows. Netscape, Opera, and all other browsers could still be installed, but that lone preferential aspect got them busted.

        Windows was leveraged to give advantage to MS Applications, and Office was often used undocumented function calls, giving it an advantage. Force bundling Office with Windows was also prevalent. And still you could install anything you wanted.

        Apple not only “ties”, it forbids!

      • Kizedek

        There is nothing preventing you from jail breaking your iOS device either. I dare say MS won’t support or guarantee a Surface running Android, either, because that is not “intended” under whatever software license you agree with when you purchase it.

        Obviously, if you don’t agree, you shouldn’t buy it. What’s “worse” is not Apple’s stance, but the stance of purportedly “open”, horizontal modeled businesses that sell themselves on that basis, and then have to progressively claw back control in order to supply a modicum of support and user-experience expectations in order to move forward and remain profitable. Such hypocrisy.

        …and what’s worse: their “openness” was not really because of some philosophical conviction in the first place — it was short cuts and lack of chops and experience in integrating both hardware and software. In fact, their software chops are questionable, precisely because they don’t/can’t do hardware effectively.

        Again, when that state of affairs changes, come back and make a case against Apple.

      • klahanas

        “There is nothing preventing you from jail breaking your iOS device either.”

        Despite Apple’s best efforts to prevent me from doing so. Anyway, I shouldn’t have to. Jailbreaking is even more intrusive than having alternate stores, which solves both our problems, but not Apple’s, but Apple doesn’t own our devices so who cares what they think? Jailbreaking exists because of Apple policies.

        I will give Apple this… if foreign software is believed to be causing a problem, they can factory reset the device. Simple. Just . Democratic.

        Now do you really mean to tell me that if MS were to launch the Surface in the 90s, stop licensing Windows to other’s, and censor their developers and users, you would be okay with that? It seems that every argument you’ve made would support that scenario.

      • Kizedek

        Of course they want to prevent you from doing so: they want to be able to let you walk in an Apple Store and have almost any problem solved within minutes, or perhaps even replace something at a moments notice with “no questions asked”, so that you can continue to use your chosen product satisfactorily for up to 6 years.

        Despite your protestations, that is a large part of what makes Apple products attractive to many people: a company that actually stands by their products as much as anyone can possibly stand by their products (without passing the buck to an OEM or store where you purchased it which amounts to having no real recourse at all).

        “Now do you really mean to tell me that if MS were to…”
        No, I really mean that I don’t think MS could do it, because they wouldn’t survive. And despite their best efforts to date (with Nokia and Metro, and everything else), nothing gives me any confidence that they could every be in Apple’s position in mobile devices. Nor Google. WHEN they are, let’s talk, because I think you would see that your hypothetical would be very hard for Google and MS to maintain if they were to be able to deliver the same kind of user experience and satisfaction that Apple CURRENTLY enjoys, and has done for years!

      • klahanas

        Talking the legality, not the execution. Nice deflection.

      • Oliver Palanjian, Jr.

        You can use Android and non-iOS devices. You can use iTunes on a PC. You can use Microsoft software on an Apple device. No one is forced to buy an Apple device. Market “share” IS larger on the Android “eco-system” despite is vast lack on integration and the fact that over 90% of phone malware is found on Android devices. Use whatever device you desire my friend; there is plenty of competition. You can choose the quality you desire and if you think it is better on Apple, choose Apple, and if you think it is better on Android, you have dozens of phones and devices to choose from. The talk of anti-competitive does just not hold water in my opinion. It is easy to degrade Apple by claiming they are the evil empire, but I can’t agree.

      • klahanas

        If you buy an iOS device you are forced to buy from the Apple App Store, which also forces the developers to NOT develop certain things.

        Not only is this censorship and anti-competitive, it stifles innovation.
        Now, let’s go with what you suggest…what if MS forbade iTunes on the PC?

        And you are also missing the point… each ecosystem is it’s OWN market, with the only censored and anti-competitive one being iOS.

      • pk_de_cville

        K sees no difference between Apple today and Microsoft in the 90s. Everyone’s entitled to opinions.

      • klahanas

        Actually far worse! MS didn’t forbid or sensor.

      • pk_de_cville

        MS was found guilty for “tying”. It’s actually an illegal monopolistic strategy.

        “Forbid”, “Sensor” – Done all the time by good capitalist companies everywhere.

        How about “Control” and “Protect”? (Actions that fight malware and strengthen privacy protections.

        Both Google and FB are in a whole lot of trouble because they played cost savings games when it came to controlling and protecting their ecosystems. (Fertile grounds for Putin and white supemacists everywhere.)

      • klahanas

        Apple doesn’t “Tie”? They do more egregiously than anyone.

        Forbid and censor… over other people’s computers (the owners of the devices)? No, just Apple. In that town (Apple) there is one newspaper, one radio station, and one unelected authority. Yes, you could elect to enter. Once in, you’re subjugated. How would you like it is your phone manufacturer imposed a 5 millisecond delay and bleeped certain words from your conversations?

        Control and Protect? If Apple is a hired IT department, they are the police enforcing the law, not the legislative body establishing the law. That is, IT departments work for the owner of the machine, who is the ultimate authority over the machine.

        Google and FB? Don’t know about Google, but if you’re referring the use of FB as a means of dissemination of false information by Russian operatives, then it’s a LEGAL matter, not just a FB matter. No one elected FB, and FB should work WITH law enforcement, not BE law enforcement.

        As much as I truly hate them…even white supremacists have the right to free speech, without it, how can they fuel my contempt? I worry much more when they’re covert. As long as they are within the law, I WANT them to voice their disgusting opinions, and to be judged by them.

      • pk_de_cville

        ” In that town (Apple)…”

        It’s just a town among 1,000s of others. It’s not an illegal monopoly as it isn’t the only ‘town’ in the world. There all the 1,000s of Android towns, too.

        Maybe you ought to reframe this as wholely an ethical or moral concern you have about Apple.

        It’s tough for Apple shareholders that Apple’s so corrupt! /s

      • klahanas

        Let me be blunt about the shareholder’s first. Shareholder’s interests do not “trump” people’s rights (notice small “t”, so I’m referring to the President ). It’s utterly immaterial to me, and people’s gambling habits should be legal, but they also should be their own problem.

        Most paramount however, is that “town” exists in a democracy. that there are other’s does not diminish the rights of those that live there. Even in private communities, one must actually waive their rights, with attorneys present, and swear obedience. I think Apple should make buyers do the same 😉

        The moral angle is too obvious to defend, and actually I would be cheapening it for defending something that obvious. It’s self-evident, and fundamental. The opposite is vulgar.

        Anyway, that’s how it is with fundamental principles. They’re slow, but they endure. The time will come…

      • pk_de_cville

        OK Mr K,

        Now your’re going into fundamental principles, but where’s your argument for illegal monpoly gone? Is it only tour ethics and morals that decide? What about the billion Apple owners? What about the ethics and morals of Google and FaceBook and Amazon?

        Switcheroo it is, as it always been.

      • klahanas

        My anti-competitive arguments have not gone away, you asked me to comment on moral and ethical grounds, which I did.

        What about the ethics and morals of Google, Amazon, and Facebook? Do they sell me a device which ties me to them in each and every way?

        I will join you against Google, since they make money off of me without my explicit knowledge and permission, just by browsing, on any device. I agree they should be thus regulated as a public utility.

        Amazon/Facebook, I have no quarrel. They do not force me to use them on my machine, nor do they prohibit me using other shopping on one hand, social sites on the other.

        PS-Apple gets paid billions by Google to be default search, so don’t cry too loud, they are an enabler and accomplice.

      • Sacto_Joe

        Wow. You’ve really compartmentalized when you say you have no “quarrel” with Amazon but you do with Apple. Amazon is one of the most insidious companies out there, and Apple is one of the most up front.

        You might want to do something about that….

      • klahanas

        I have a bigger problem with Walmart if that’s the case. On the other hand Amazon does not sell me primary computers. I’m in no way bound to them. I’m not forced to buy from them. Alexa turns my lights on and off. So…?

      • iphonenick

        Amazon took advantage of their tax exempt status to underprice their competitors and in many cases they went out of business. Those brick and mortar stores contributed to the local economy (sales taxes, property taxes, wages, income taxes, economic activity, etc.), whereas Amazon was able to forgo profits to grow the business.

        Talk about an unfair playing field.

        Now Amazon is opening up retail operations in all 50 fifty states and will charge sales taxes going forward. Why not? They’ve already crushed their competitors so there’s no fear of price competition. Plus they can get away with treating their domestic staff like cattle until someone investigates –

      • klahanas

        Okay, let’s go with that. Amazon is outcompeting, probably unfairly due to no sales tax, the brick and mortar stores. It’s not that brick and mortar doesn’t have the advantage of direct customer service and instant gratification, as well as better latitude of payment options (cash). Putting both on the scale I consciously DON”T buy from Amazon because I don’t want to wait. Only if I can’t find it close in price or geography. Music is an exception. I instantly get my MP3 and wait for the CD.

        Walmart, the former A&P, Barnes and Noble, outcompeted “brick and mortar” them due to size and buying power.
        Small fish eats big fish, sad as it is, that’s capitalism.
        So fine, never had “love” for Amazon anyway. Also don’t have “love” for Walmart.

        Now answer me this… What’s more anti-competitive, actually out competing, or forbidding from existence, such as alternate App stores.
        IMO Apple censoring me directly, on my own property, without recourse is worse. The Anti-Trust Act is there to protect the consumer from such things by fostering competition for given goods and services. iOS Apps are given goods and services.

      • klahanas


        If you hate Amazon and have a case to support, I’ll listen to it. You may even be right, or just have a point. I’m not a fan of any company.

        Apple was certainly up front on how they handled the battery issue… riiiight! Up front must mean a long time after the fact, and only when caught.

        Don’t even bother defending, they’ve acknowledged and apologized to users. Hopefully some would be a little more ‘skeptical’ going forward.

      • LelandHendrix

        “Forbid and censor… over other people’s computers (the owners of the devices)? No, just Apple. In that town (Apple) there is one newspaper, one radio station, and one unelected authority. Yes, you could elect to enter. Once in, you’re subjugated. How would you like it if your phone manufacturer imposed a 5 millisecond delay and bleeped certain words from your conversations?”

        How are Apple’s users, either with a Mac or iOS device, being restricted? Can you read things on the internet that I can’t? I seem to be able to do everything I want with my iPhone. What am I missing?

      • klahanas

        Mac is not an issue for censorship, iOS is. There is one channel for software on iOS, one singular store.

        That store has every right to decide what to sell, but the fact that it’s singular is censorship.

      • Get Serious

        iOS App Store is not the only “store”. Web Apps are still supported and you can self deploy your own Apps like many corporations and individuals do.

      • klahanas

        Web Apps are NOT native compiled code. There are TONS of disadvantages to Web Apps, the primary one being, you need to be connected to the Web, they may or may not run on your own device, they are invariably slower, etc., etc., etc.
        When you buy a device it is YOURS.

      • LelandHendrix

        You keep referring to Apple’s iron fist and censorship as if they are abusing their relationship with their customers or even developers. What exactly are you on about?

      • klahanas

        Three simple words…
        “App Approval Process”
        When computers became personal, it was the owner of the device that controlled the “App Approval Process” not their vendors.

      • art hackett

        Because anarchy hasn’t failed us yet.

      • klahanas

        Neither has self determination.

      • Get Serious

        So you’re saying I should be able to buy Porn at Walmart.

      • klahanas

        The “porn” angle didn’t even work for Jobs, what makes you think you can get away with it.

        No, I’m not saying Walmart should be forced to sell you porn. I think I made that abundantly clear. But there should be no legal limitation on another store selling legal porn to adults within the law. And my shoes should allow me to walk there.

      • art hackett


      • klahanas

        …except iOS developers.

      • Shawn Dehkhodaei

        There is that “if”. “If you buy an iOS device …. ”

        Well, if you don’t like the setup, just buy another device. There are plenty of choices.

      • klahanas

        You promised to refrain from conversation, I expect you to keep your word. It’s not that I don’t welcome dialogue… it’s personal.

      • Space Gorilla

        I’ll just point out that you’ve said the word ‘censor’ or ‘censorship’ a half dozen times in this comment thread, and you’ve just told another commenter to shut up. That’s all. Bye.

      • klahanas

        I did not tell anyone to shut up. I asked the other commenter to abide by their own words, spoken out of their own free will, on another thread. Truth and logic evade you.

        If I were the type to tell people to shut up, don’t you think I would have started with you?

        Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

      • psiberaktiv

        Ignore Klahanas is hell bent on proving that Apple is a monopoly, logic, reason and truth be damned.

      • klahanas

        You realize you just told me to ignore myself, logic, reason and truth be damned… right?

      • Shameer Mulji

        “Now, let’s go with what you suggest…what if MS forbade iTunes on the PC?”

        Lousy example as I can get Spotify, Pandora, Google Music on my iOS devices or on macOS. A proper analogy would be MS not allowing Apple’s iOS App Store on Windows 10, since iTunes is nothing more than an app

      • klahanas

        I went with the specific App, because it’s specific Apps that get censored BY having a single store. But I do like your example, it’s harder hitting. Here a mere bundling of IE led to antitrust charges, imagine a forbiddance of all non-MS purchased software would have done.
        Yes, that’s the magnitude of what Apple is doing!

      • Kizedek

        Yes, imagine it — then such a platform wouldn’t be aimed at OEMs at all, would it? Going the integrated route would have made all the difference. It would be for a new class of MS’ own hardware products, and it wouldn’t run an OS called Windows, it would be something different.

        You know this, but the bundling was a symptom, all about the supplier of one component, the OS, dictating to the builder of the hardware — hardware that could equally run Linux, IBM OS2, BeOS, whatever.

        MS subverted the competing software and put them out of business. Partly by dictating things like the placement of IE, or by charging the OEM for copies of Windows even if the hardware ran Linux, etc.

        MS gained a monopoly by putting its competitors out of business in unethical ways. And it used its position to dictate to the OEMs making the product that was actually purchased.

        Monopoly and legality is usually about stuff that way around it seems — the supplier controlling someone-else’s final product. Especially when the component ends up on the majority of the total of that class of product sold in the whole world by all makers of that product.

        It would be like Michelin, as MS, putting most other tire makers out of business, and then dictating to car makers the interior and features of the car. So, it’s not a “mere” anything.

        But if MS makes a whole electric snowmobile, hey, who’s to dictate how and where you can replace the tires.

      • psiberaktiv

        There another truly open and vast alternative “App Store” on the iPhone, where developers and content providers can build awesome apps and monetize them anyway they want without paying a single cent to Apple. It’s called the Safari web browser. Yes, the open web is available on the iPhone.

        What monopoly are you talking about?

      • klahanas

        Okay, you’ve proven you speak English, and I assume you read my other posts here. I will whisper… WEB APPS DON’T COUNT.
        Native compiled code is what’s ONLY available from the App store. I said of it’s advantages on this very thread. Maybe you are technically aware, maybe not, if not I will gladly explain.

    • Outlier

      I would think “iOS economy” makes sense because it refers to a single vendor. It’s more than a transit method such as a national post office or delivery method as with the other examples you gave.

    • Mail, rail, steam, electric grids all created “economies’ as did the Wintel duopoly. The difference is when one single company acts as an enabler, without monopoly rights. This is the basis of platform economics.

  • Space Gorilla

    “Additional assumptions around growth rates suggest that iOS economy will achieve the half trillion revenue rate in 2019. Valuing this, especially as a part of Apple’s intrinsic value, is a challenge but it’s probably worth doing.”

    THIS is why I’m not selling any Apple stock. Apple is going to keep on succeeding for a long, long time yet. Minor bumps in the road don’t bother me one bit. Apple has always made mistakes and made course corrections, going back decades.

    Services + Apple Network of Things is going to be very interesting over the next ten years.

  • matthew_aujla

    What happens with subscription businesses on iOS? Apple’s 70/30 & 85/15 is so prohibitive my startup has ruled iOS app out from day 1. As consumer, I’ve seen the multi-billion dollar NFL drop its iOS NFL GamePass app ($200/yr for international customers like me) despite leaving Apple owners with a terrible HTML5 user experience. *Market* pressure led to Apple dropping its tipping tax in China. Will other market or regulatory pressure force changes in iOS economics?

  • hannahjs

    Within the App Store, Apple now distinguishes between “apps” and “games.” Extrapolating revenues a bit further, is it conceivable that “games” alone could surpass global box office?

    • Childermass

      Inevitable. “Games” – including consoles and pcs – already surpass global box office. Apple separated them out in the App Store simply because of the numbers. When they show off some new technical enhancement they use games to do it.
      How long is “games” going to be a category? We have long-winded strategy games that require processing power, but not graphic speed and we have ‘shoot-em-ups’ and race and sports games that require both and we have puzzle m-games that require neither. And many, many more. Once they were the preserve of geek sub-adult males, now the largest consumer of m-games is 30+ females. It is a rapidly changing market as well as a rapidly growing one and no-one yet knows they best way to make money out of it. Or the best category to be in, or even if there is one.
      TV viewing is collapsing, especially in under 30s, streaming (point-and-fire TV) is not taking up the slack.
      We are in a revolution.
      To conclude this ramble: games are big and getting much bigger as they are delivering the emotional impact of sports. Now and Unexpected.

      • hannahjs

        There was a time when Mac games were good, from 1985 until around the time that Steve Jobs returned to a beleaguered Apple in 1997. He solidified the platform through a variety of draconian decisions, one of which was to ignore game developers and game lovers. Bungie was allowed to be lured away by Microsoft. LucasArts reneged on a promise to continue their Star Wars games on Mac. If there was one area where Steve Jobs was bull-headedly wrong, it was about games. So what if Wintel shills claimed the Mac was just a toy? Steve neglected to realise that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

  • Luis Alejandro Masanti

    quote: “I’ve made comparisons before with the app business being bigger than the film industry (and much bigger than the music industry.) This was considering Android revenues and iOS combined as “app revenues”.”

    If Apple continues its inroads in original content production and success… there will be a moment in which the app economy will grow faster than the movie industry due just to Apple’s movie industry!

  • berult

    How to conduct asymmetric warfare within the hallowed confines of symmetrical honesty?


    One hollows it out, bottom-up, through rigor…mortis. berult.

    • klahanas

      Thanks Willis… 😉

  • John

    You’re not taking in the account the VAT.

    Example: 100 Euros in app purchase made in Germany
    (100-30% Apple’s cut)-19% VAT = 56.7 Euros paid to developer