Apple says people spent more than $10bn in its app store last year, with apps such as Minecraft, Angry Birds Star Wars and Sleep Cycle alarm clock leading the way.
December was the most successful month in the store's history, as customers spent $1bn that month. Apple says the year's total was also a record.
“With more than 10 billion apps downloaded in just two and a half years — a staggering seven billion apps in the last year alone — the App Store has surpassed our wildest dreams”, said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The App Store has revolutionised how software is created, distributed, discovered and sold. While others try to copy the App Store, it continues to offer developers and customers the most innovative experience on the planet”.
There are more than a million apps available in the app store for the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod Touch. Besides games, there are newspapers, magazines, travel, business and health and fitness apps, among others.
Apple launched the app store in 2008, a year after the iPhone with 500 apps.
Commenting on the milestone, By Marco Veremis, CEO at Upstream said: "While Apple has reported $10B of sales in its app store, the tech giant can’t afford to rest on its laurels. In particular, Apple faces an uphill battle in trying to adapt its app model. In its current state, the Apple App store works on a Trojan horse system, where the content is locked within expensive devices and relies on the use of consumer debit and credit card details to process transactions. Due to the lack of access to banking facilities in these regions, content on the App Store remains beyond the reach of a large population of consumers.
"For instance Apple's recently-inked deal with China Mobile—which represents its attempted push into emerging markets—remains volatile. If Apple fails to capture a larger percentage of the consumer base in emerging markets, then it will also fail to create a valid customer base.
"Growth predictions can then only become stagnant – not good news for the company at all, or its apps. In short, Apple has a lot to gain, but more to lose as well. To combat this problem, we have seen the rise of the partnerships between app developers and mobile operators because it is the operators that can provide the most appealing billing solution - paying for mobile content via their contract or pay-as-you-go plan. If Apple truly wants to make its mark in the developing world, working closely with mobile network operators will be mission critical, as it is the operators that can unlock mobile content by allowing users to pay for data and apps via their pre- or post-paid mobile contracts.