Almost half made in 2012 by iOS lovers
Apple announced recently that customers have downloaded over 40 billion apps in total from its App Store, with nearly 20 billion in 2012 alone.
The App Store has over 500 million active accounts and had a record breaking December with over two billion downloads during the month.
Apple's developer community has created over 775,000 apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users worldwide, and developers have been paid over seven billion dollars by Apple.
'It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,' said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services. 'Developers have made over $7 billion on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.'
Juniper Research's Windsor Holden, research director, commented in a blog: 'Given that Apple's revenue share is 70:30 in favour of the developer, it therefore does not require too much head scratching to calculate that Apple itself has picked up just over $3 billion from the arrangement, including around $1.5 billion in the last calendar year.'
Holden added that Google Play is also believed to have had close to 20 billion downloads in 2012. He stated: 'The two app store behemoths between them account for nearly three quarters of global app downloads. Elsewhere, the Nokia Store, Blackberry App World and GetJar hold position and round out the top five app stores of 2012, with around nine billion downloads between them.'
Apple and Google's hold on the top end of the market marks a huge task for the likes of Microsoft and Amazon as they attempt to elbow their way in. Holden said: 'Both Apple and (fragmentation notwithstanding) Google can deliver immense scale, with audiences in the hundreds of millions (another Cupertino statistic: the App Store now has more than 500 million active accounts). Thus, to persuade top publishers and developers to provide content for alternative platforms, would-be competitors will essentially be obliged to 'seed' the market by guaranteeing revenue rather than offering them a revenue share in the first instance.'
In terms of monetisation, Apple has the lead over Google, estimates Juniper. Holden noted: 'Speaking of monetisation, while App Store and Google Play are neck and neck in terms of downloads, for revenue generation it's a different story. Here, Apple continues to lord it over its rival; Juniper estimates that no more than 3% of Google apps are paid for at the point of downloads, whereas with Apple the figure is closer to 10%, while iOS apps also see far higher revenues from freemium.'
In 2012, the husband and wife team at Imangi Studios saw their game Temple Run downloaded more than 75 million times; Backflip Studios and Supercell, two emerging game development studios, brought in over $100 million combined for their leading freemium titles DragonVale and Clash of Clans; and emerging services including Uber, Flipboard, HotelTonight, and AirBnB attracted millions of users on iOS.
Companies including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Autodesk, Marvel and Major League Baseball continued to expand their iOS offerings, while developers like JJ Abrams' Bad Robot Interactive and Bottle Rocket Apps continued to push the boundaries of what iOS apps can do.
'The success of our game Temple Run in 2012 was nothing short of astonishing,' said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios. 'We were simply looking to create a game that was fun and easy to play, but once it hit the App Store, the game took off. This past year, we saw more than 75 million downloads of Temple Run on iOS.'
Apple offers developers resources and tools to help them make great apps, plus a robust ecosystem and marketplace which provide customers a safe and easy way to discover them. Apple also provides developers great ways to monetise apps including in-app purchase, subscriptions and advertising, and helps market and support developer efforts in the App Store and beyond.