Apple’s Record-Breaking Holiday Season Saw Over $1.1 Billion In App Store Sales

Attempting to steal a bit of thunder away from this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, Apple announced this morning a record-breaking holiday season for its App Store, with over $1.1 billion spent on apps and in-app purchases in the two weeks ending January 3. Apple says it broke records for both traffic and purchases during this time. In addition, it wasn’t Christmas Day that was Apple’s biggest, but rather New Year’s Day (Jan 1) which became the biggest day in App Store history.

On that day alone, customers spent over $144 million in the App Store. Christmas Day 2015 had been the biggest day in App Store history before January 1 rolled around to top it, Apple also said.

“The App Store had a holiday season for the record books. We are excited that our customers downloaded and enjoyed so many incredible apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, spending over $20 billion on the App Store last year alone,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a statement. Schiller, as you may recall, was recently put in charge of Apple’s App Stores across devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

“We’re grateful to all the developers who have created the most innovative and exciting apps in the world for our customers. We can’t wait for what’s to come in 2016,” he added.

Apple revealed a few other metrics along with the App Store records, noting that it has paid out nearly $40 billion for developers since 2008, with one-third of that generated in the past year alone. For comparison’s sake, Apple said this past August that it had paid out $33 billion to developers to date, with $8 billion so far in 2015.

The company also touted its ability to create jobs, saying that it’s responsible for 1.9 million jobs in the U.S., 1.4 million of which – or nearly three-quarters – attributable to the app economy. That means app developers, software engineers, and entrepreneurs building apps of iOS, plus non-I.T. jobs that are supported directly and indirectly through the app economy.

Apple also said that it created 1.2 million jobs in Europe and 1.4 million in China.

In addition, Apple offered some insight into the most popular app categories across Apple products, saying that Games, Social Networking apps, and Entertainment apps were the most popular. That’s interesting, especially in light of yesterday’s report from Flurry, which said that, in terms of app usage, the gaming category actually declined 2 percent year-over-year. The analytics firm also found that the categories seeing the most growth in usage were Personalization, News & Magazine apps, and Productivity apps.

Of course, the most “popular” apps likely refers to those downloaded the most, as opposed to those which are most engaging, but it’s still a discrepancy worth pointing out.