Apple’s App Store had gross sales of at least $64 billion last year

According to an analysis by CNBC, Apple’s App Store grossed more than $64 billion in 2020 while preliminary SensorTower Store Intelligence data shows consumer spending on Apple’s App Store hit $72.3 billion, up 30.3% year-over-year ($55.5 billion in 2019).

Apple App Store on Apple devices
Apple’s App Store

Kif Leswing for CNBC:

App Store sales growth accelerated strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people sheltered at home and spent more time and money on apps and games.

App Store revenue grew 28% in 2020, up from 3.1% growth in 2019, according to CNBC’s analysis.

Apple doesn’t disclose how much revenue its App Store makes per year. Instead, since 2013, it has released data points in January that include the total that Apple has paid to developers since the beginning of the App Store in 2008.

Using those numbers, it’s possible to back out roughly how much revenue the App Store generated based on how much Apple paid to developers in any given year. According to a press release on Wednesday, Apple has paid developers $200 billion since 2008, up $45 billion from the figure that was announced in January 2020. If that’s equal to 70% of App Store sales, then the App Store grossed around $64 billion last year.

There are some exceptions to Apple’s 30% cut of digital sales, and Apple’s figures are rough, which means that Apple’s App Store total sales is likely even higher.

Stephanie Chan for SensorTower:

Globally, consumer spending on the App Store reached $72.3 billion, up 30.3 percent Y/Y from $55.5 billion in 2019.

As in previous years, this exceeded the amount users spent on Google Play, which grew 30 percent Y/Y from $29.7 billion in 2019 to $38.6 billion.

The App Store generated 87.3 percent more in consumer spending than the Play store, and both platforms experienced roughly the same Y/Y growth.

MacDailyNews Take: Using CNBC’s “more than $64 billion,” Apple’s App Store places 166th on the Fortune 500, right around Humana ($64.88 billion in annual revenue). Using SensorTower’s $72.3 billion figure, Apple’s App Store is 135th on the Fortune 500, higher than Lowes’ Intel, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Apple’s App Store generated 87.3% more in consumer spending than Google’s Play store, despite Android possessing 72.48% of worldwide mobile operating system market share vs. 26.91% share for Apple’s iOS which is a nice, concise lesson in the demographic differences between Apple device users vs. those who settle for pale imitations.


  1. The App Store is making a ton of money, so I suppose somebody is about to suggest that Apple should fire Tim Cook or praise President Trump for the booming economy. Speaking of which, where is the weekly MDN post on the unemployment numbers?

  2. I hope that’s enough revenue to offset any iPhone sales loss of revenue and enough to satisfy big investors this quarter. I’m sure Apple will put out numbers good enough to impress me on the earnings report, but whether those numbers are enough to justify Apple’s current share price for Wall Street, I honestly can’t say.

    There are so many smaller stocks outperforming Apple, I’m not sure how Wall Street will handle it. The gorilla in the room is Tesla and if investors start comparing Apple with Tesla, Apple is going to come up short by a huge margin. Big investors may simply feel Apple isn’t worth the money when Tesla is considered a better investment. I’m sure Apple will be worth $140 but not much more. Apple seems to be unable to generate much investor sentiment unless some “AppleCar” is involved and that’s downright ridiculous, in my estimation. Apple isn’t an automaker and probably never will be.

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