The launch of updated iPhones and iPads helped increase the number of apps consumers wanted to put on the devices in 2014, with Apple’s App Store generating around $15 billion in sales, up 50% over 2013.
Apple itself collected $4.5 billion of that, given that it earns 30% of each app sale through the store, which offers 1.4 million apps for iPhones and iPads.
While the 2014 numbers were a record for App Store sales, it’s already starting off 2015 well, with the first week of January generating nearly half-a-billion dollars from purchases, the company said, a new high. Its biggest sales day was New Year’s Day.
Apple’s App Store was launched in 2008, after the first iPhone was introduced. Apple said it has paid developers $25 billion since then.
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Google has yet to disclose year-end figures for its own Google Play store, although the company has recently been making considerable moves into heightening promotion of that platform on smartphones, tablets and smart TVs and hyping its offerings with new content deals, including a high-profile pact with Disney.
Google’s Android powers a majority of the world’s mobile devices — 84% of smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2014 ran on Android vs. 12% powered by Apple’s iOS, research firm IDC said.
In the third quarter, Apple’s App Store sales were 60% higher than Google Play’s, according to research group App Annie, which tracks app sales. In June, Google said it had paid $5 billion to app makers over the past year.
Google Play offers 1.72 million apps.