In the midst of a difficult week for Apple, the company shared some good news: Worldwide customers of the App Store broke new spending records over the holidays, marking the end of a record-breaking year for that sector of the company.
Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, spending hit more than $1.22 billion. On New Year’s Day, customers spent $322 million, a new single-day record.
“The App Store had a record-breaking holiday week and New Year's Day,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Thanks to the inspiring work of our talented developers and the support of our incredible customers around the world, the App Store finished off an outstanding 2018 and kicked off 2019 with a bang.”
The news comes on the same day Apple stocks are reeling from the news that iPhone sales missed projections, a reality that Apple CEO Tim Cook blamed on the economic slowdown in China.
Apple, which sorts the App Store into the category of “services,” said the revenue drove the sector to an all-time high for the quarter. Apple services set a few all-time records in addition to the App Store, including Apple Music, Cloud Services, Apple Pay and the App Store’s search ad business.
The most popular categories of downloads during the holiday season were games and self-care. Multiplayer games Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds were among the top sellers, as well as Brawl Stars, Asphalt 9: Legends and Monster Strike. Health and fitness and productivity apps like 1Password, Sweat and Lumosity also sold well, the company said.
A tech outlet reported that the record-breaking numbers aren’t surprising, considering the overall growth of the app sector. Mobile games take in the lion’s share of revenue, but subscription apps are also making gains. Mobile intelligence and data firm App Annie predicted that App Store revenue will pass $122 billion globally this year, including Google Play and third-party Android app stores in China combined.