Commentary

Led By App Store, Apple's Services Log Their Biggest Year Yet

Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, Apple’s App Store raked in a record $1.42 billion. That’s according to new figures from the tech titan, which show that App Store sales increased 16% year-over-year during that period.

That brings App Store developers' total earnings to more than $155 billion since Apple launched the platform back in 2008. 

The numbers were included in a year-end performance review of Apple’s services, which have become an increasing area of focus for the company as iPhone sales slump and it looks for alternative revenue streams. 

To that end, Apple bowed a number of new services in 2019, including Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Card. 

“2019 was the biggest year for Services in Apple’s history,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, stated. 

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Throughout 2019, Apple also rolled out a variety of new features to maintain the growth of existing services. Apple Music, for example, added a time-synced lyrics feature, which was used by more than 50% of the service’s listeners last year. 

The tech giant also reported that Apple News now attracts more than 100 million monthly active users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. 

Meanwhile, Apple’s review alluded to an “ongoing focus on the deep integration of hardware, software and services.” That wording is interesting because Apple is reportedly open to the idea of bundling News+, Apple TV+ and Apple Music. 

Sources recently told Bloomberg that such a move could occur sometime this year, and point to an existing provision in Apple’s agreements with publishers that allows the company to bundle News+ with other paid services.

In part, bundling Apple News+ with other services might be a response to Facebook’s recent reentry in the news business.

Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook credited growth in services and wearable sales (up 54% year-over-year) for driving revenue during its fiscal fourth quarter.

For the full month of December, Sensor Tower recently estimated that consumers dropped nearly $5.1 billion on apps available in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store.

Meanwhile, Apple’s review alluded to an “ongoing focus on the deep integration of hardware, software and services.” That wording is interesting because Apple is reportedly open to the idea of bundling News+, Apple TV+ and Apple Music. 

Sources recently told Bloomberg that such a move could occur sometime this year, and point to an existing provision in Apple’s agreements with publishers that allows the company to bundle News+ with other paid services.

In part, bundling Apple News+ with other services might be a response to Facebook’s recent reentry into the news business.

Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook credited growth in services and wearable sales (up 54% year-over-year) for driving revenue during its fiscal fourth quarter.

For the full month of December, Sensor Tower recently estimated that consumers dropped nearly $5.1 billion on apps available in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store.

 

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