Apple Cleans Up During Holiday Season, Collects Record $1.1 Billion In App Purchases

It was a ho-ho-hot holiday season for Apple and its App Store, which set new records in the two weeks covering Christmas and New Year's. In the two-week time period leading up to January 3, iOS and Mac OS X users spent a combined $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases, setting back-to-back weekly records for both traffic and money spent.

Customers also set a single-day record on January 1, 2016, by forking over $144 million, besting the record that was set just a week earlier on Christmas Day, Apple said. While Apple keeps a percentage of purchases, developers to date have pocketed nearly $40 billion since 2008, and a third of that has come in the last year alone.

Apple iTunes

"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. "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."

This is no small thing. In large part because of its App Store and iOS ecosystem, Apple claims it's now responsible for creating and supporting 1.9 million jobs n the U.S., with 1.4 million attributable to the community of app creators, software engineers, and entrepreneurs building apps for iOS. That figure also includes non-IT jobs supported through the app economy, both directly and indirectly.

The kind of revenue Apple is pulling in through a thriving app economy is exactly why Microsoft is pushing so hard to get users to adopt a single, unified ecosystem in Windows 10. It also showcases how important the software side of things is -- Android has a much bigger share of the hardware market, but Apple's still managing to generate billions of dollars through its App Store.