CES? What CES? Apple never goes to the great big noisy consumer electronics show-off in the desert. But all the non iDevice-makers do — which is one reason it’s chosen today to make some noise of its own. In a release just put out, Cupertino said customers of its App Store spent more than $10 billion in 2013, including more than $1 billion shelled out on digital goodies for iOS devices in December alone.
The festive month also saw App Store customers download almost three billion iOS apps — which Apple said makes it the most successful month in the history of its App Store. Cumulative payouts from Apple to iOS app developers are now $15 billion, it added.
Another reason for Apple to want to loudly blow its own trumpet right now is to draw attention to smartphone profits vs marketshare. Yesterday data put out by marketshare watcher Kantar underlined how Apple is continuing to lose marketshare to rivals using the Android and Windows Phone platform. So in other words Apple is getting a progressively smaller slice of the smartphone pie.
Google’s Android platform may be continuing to dominate device shipments — also yesterday Gartner put out its forecast for devices in 2014, with a prediction that of the 2.5 billion PCs, tablets and mobile handsets set to ship this year 1.1 billion will be Android-based — but developers still tend to favour iOS, developing first for Apple’s platform first, with Android typically the second choice.
There remains a perception among developers that it’s easier to monetise apps on iOS — especially as app piracy is less of a problem on iOS than it is on Android — and Apple is clearly keen to keep that perception fresh. Talking up the billions its App Store is continuing to generate is a pretty loud reminder for the development community.
Apple added that its App Store now has more than one million apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, available in 155 countries globally — including more than 500,000 native iPad apps.