CALIFORNIA: Last year, Apple began focusing more on the products that are sold alongside its iPhones, such as subscriptions for its $4.99 per month Apple TV Plus video service and $9.99 Apple Arcade video game program. The company’s App Store has also continued its characteristically strong growth, particularly during the holidays.
Apple said developers on its App Store earned $1.42 billion during the week between Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and New Year’s Eve, a 16% increase over the same period in 2018. Those sales included individual purchases of various programs, like the popular $3.99 Facetune selfie manipulation app, purchases of in-app items like tractors to help work your digital farm or subscriptions to music and video services.
Apple said people’s purchases on the App Store were so high that on New Year’s Eve day, the company counted a new single-day record of $386 million, up 20% from last year. “We begin the new decade with incredible momentum and gratitude to our customers who have shown such enthusiasm for all of our services,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of internet software and services, said in a statement.
The company’s announcements coincide with the second day of CES, the tech industry’s largest trade show, being held in Las Vegas. Apple’s skipped the show for more than two decades, instead opting to make competing announcements, hold its own events or even troll competitors at the event. This year, though, it did send its senior director of global privacy, Jane Horvath, to participate in a roundtable discussion with representatives from Facebook, the Federal Trade Commission and Proctor & Gamble.
Apple’s announcement caps the past year it’s spent launching and promoting its $4.99 per month Apple TV Plus video subscription service, $9.99 per month Apple News Plus program, video games through its $4.99 monthly Apple Arcade package and its branded credit card, backed by Goldman Sachs, to help pay for it all. The company hasn’t announced any hard user data about those projects yet, but it sees momentum from the App Store as a sign it’s able to convince people to open their wallets for something other than a new iPhone or AirPods headphones.