Apple’s App Store ‘Facilitates More Than $500bn’ In Trade Worldwide

Apple, app store

Apple says App Store facilitates more than half a trillion dollars in worldwide trade, with the lion’s share being physical sales from which it doesn’t take a commission

Apple says its App Store facilitated more than half a trillion dollars (£400bn) in trade worldwide last year.

The company said it did not take a commission from more than 85 percent of those transactions.

Apple released the figures, based on a study it commissioned from Analysis Group, ahead of its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), which begins on 22 June.

The findings appear as Apple and other major tech companies are under pressure from competition authorities in the US and Europe.

Apple, app store
Image credit: Apple

Digital economy

Apple chief executive Tim Cook is likely to participate in US congressional antitrust hearings set to begin in July, along with the chief executives of Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Many developers are also unhappy with the 30 percent commission Apple exacts from digital purchases, amounting to $61bn in 2019.

Digital goods and services include in-app purchases, app sales and in-app advertising.

The study, however, highlights the much larger proportion of physical goods and services whose sale was facilitated by the App Store in one way or another – and from which Apple does not take a commission.

Retail apps from companies such as Amazon and Best Buy amounted to $298bn last year, while travel sales from United, Expedia, British Airways and other companies reached $57bn.

Ride-hailing apps sold $40bn in services and food delivery app companies registered $31bn in sales.


Geographically, the largest single category of sales was physical goods and services in China, at $225bn, followed by the US, at $93bn.

Worldwide, sales of physical goods and services amounted to $413bn.

Other categories include subscriptions to media apps such as the Times newspaper or Netflix and subscriptions to work apps such as Zoom or Slack.

The App Store facilitated a total of $519bn in estimated billings and sales in 2019, which Apple said it believes is a conservative estimate.

The findings reach across the iOS, macOS, Watch and Apple TV platforms, and exclude Windows or Android versions of the same apps.

“We’re committed to doing even more to support and nurture the global App Store community,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook.

Apple said in a statement that it welcomes regulatory scrutiny of its App Store.

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