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Apple’s App Store generates a billion dollars a week

On average, Apple generated over a billion dollars a week from the half billion plus people visiting its App Store every week in 2019, the latest data shows.

That’s $54.2 billion in the year.

Chasing the (long) tail

There’s lots of reasons for this, principally a successful push toward subscription-based business models and rapidly growing consumer acceptance that there actually is a value in digital products.

This renaissance in digital engagement is also generating new opportunity for enterprises who seek to meet customers where they are with digital-first experiences.

Subscription revenues increased in 2019, with more developers offering to let users try their apps before paying out for the full feature set, according to SensorTower data. Growing subs revenues prove shoppers will pay monthly fees for apps.

Nurturing this kind of perception has been one of the big challenges for the tech industry. In the early years the success of Napster and file-sharing showed what can happen to industries when people don’t value digital product.

The success of iTunes, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime and services like iCloud and Dropbox helped most users recognize digital value.

Now it’s generating massive money.

User spending at the App Store climbed 16% y-o-y from $47 billion in 2018. Games accounted for a mighty $37 billion of this, while entertainment apps hoovered up $3.9 billion more.

We’re also seeing physical product sales become more deeply digital. 

“People are more connected today than ever before,” said Jason Woosley, vice president of commerce product & platform at Adobe.

“We all have a smartphone in our pocket, and that is really what is driving the uptick in mobile commerce and e-commerce overall. You can literally think of something you need, and just purchase it right that second.

“This always-on and always connected trend will continue to accelerate, especially as the definition of mobility continues to expand to new devices and modes of accessing the Internet.”

Best in store

Apple recently announced that App Store developers earned over $155 billion in App Store sales since 2008.

The company added that “over a quarter” of these sales came in the last year and confirmed customers spent $1.42 billion at the App Store between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 2019 — up 16 percent. The App Store store generated $386 million in sales on New Year’s Day 2020, Apple said — up slightly on the $322 million generated the same day last year.

The trend isn’t merely visible on Apple’s App Store, even Google Play also saw increased revenues – despite which the sum generated by iOS was 85 percent greater than the $29.3 billion spent on Google Play.

The digital value chain

This flurry of statistics proves perception of digital value is growing. (This is also proven by news that Pokemon Go generated nearly a billion dollars in revenue on in-game purchases alone last year).

That is something that should matter to enterprise professionals attempting to identify and deliver new services and business models.

Consumer willingness to pay for digital services shows business models such as ‘information as a service’, expansion in digital channels and sponsorship of key digital experiences are more likely to build revenue, attract customers or enhance relationships than before.

In an intensifying competitive environment, delivering such services may be mandatory – and there may be some way to go, given Gartner’s analysis that 84 percent of consumers using digital tools and services in 2018 reported “underwhelming” experiences.

This matters.

  • 60% of enterprises that have engaged in digital transformation projects have also built new business models.
  • 78% of customers use mobile channels to communicate with brands.
  • 80% of millennials are more likely to purchase from companies that have a mobile customer services portal.

The attention economy isn’t at all stable. A better product or service can come along and quickly steal away hard-won hearts and minds. This has always been true in business, but the rapidity with which digital solutions can be developed and distributed means competition is rapid and response must be more agile.

It’s an intense environment.

“By 2022, 72 percent of customer interactions will involve an emerging technology, such as machine-learning applications, chatbots or mobile messaging, up from 11 percent in 2017,” predicted Gartner in 2019.

Within this it is interesting that Calm and Headspace became the biggest grossing apps in the health and fitness category across both Apple and Android platforms in December.

Perhaps all those ‘digital first’ executives badly needed some time out as they grappled with the challenge of continued transformation?

Though on a more serious note this also reflects consumer willingness to invest in a huge array of tech-driven services, even those we don’t usually associate with “digital”.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Apple has a chance to grow as half a billion Windows 7 PCs hit EOL

As Microsoft pulls support for nearly half a billion Windows 7 PCs, it’s make or break for Windows-based IT. And Apple has a chance to reap a good harvest when support ends Jan. 14.

The great migration

Apple’s solutions are now in use across the entire Fortune 500 and the company’s enterprise credentials continue to extend. At a recent Apple-focused enterprise IT event, we encountered opinion and statistics to reinforce this fact.

In fact, support for Apple technologies has become a human resources issue, and people entering the workplace will choose to use the company’s technologies – if they can. This has prompted some of the world’s most influential enterprise firms to offer that choice to their employees.

Beyond HR considerations, IBM CIO Fletcher Previn points out multiple advantages Cupertino’s computers offer, not least in terms of net promoter score, user experience and the actual costs of management, upgrade and support.

“Now, I don’t know if better employees want Macs, or giving Macs to employees makes them better. You got to be careful about cause and effect — but there seems to be a lot of corroborating evidence that says you want to have a choice programme,” he said in November ’19.

The real enterprise IT

The positive upswell in support for Apple’s systems comes as around 417 million  Windows 7 devices (a big chunk of all Windows PCs currently in use worldwide) are about to see Microsoft terminate support on Jan. 14.

It’s a relatively safe assumption to think that at least some tens of thousands of these PCs could now be replaced by an iPad, or even a Mac. Why wouldn’t some of these migrate to Apple’s platforms, when Microsoft’s fee-based extended support package costs up to $200 per device?

Apple’s Windows 7 replacement pitch

That’s a real opportunity for Apple, and gives the company a really deep chance to use the popularity of iPhones among enterprise users to pitch Mac sales in the new replacement drive.

It might not even need to try too hard to be successful. IBM has previously explained how running Macs is up to $543 per machine cheaper than running a Windows PC.

Add the cost of extended Windows 7 support to the likely cost savings of using a Mac and factor in recruitment and staff retention costs and spice the sum with employee satisfaction, digital transformation and productivity benefits, and Apple has a good story to tell.

And a billion iPhone owners to tell it, too.

It’s not as if the industry can’t see it coming

The analysts at IDC aren’t known to be Apple evangelists, but even they tell us enterprise IT decision makers expect to replace 13% of their current Windows 7 machines with Macs.

Now, 13% of all the Windows 7 devices out there equates to tens of millions of additional Mac sales in the coming 12 to 24 months, though the number of those systems deployed across the enterprise is likely considerably smaller.

All the same, it’s hard to ignore the potential for millions of additional Mac sales. And those sales could snowball, particularly now that Apple’s fixed the butterfly keyboard on its latest MacBook Pro and returned to pressing for high user satisfaction levels.

Recent financial data suggests Apple is indeed experiencing such a Mac renaissance;  2019 saw what Apple CEO Tim Cook described as the, “highest annual revenue ever from our Mac business.”

Mac sales revenues climbed 2% across 2019, despite PC market stagnation. So it’s a fairly good bet that more enterprise IT decision makers than ever are at least now considering offering Mac choice programs as they move to upgrade existing Windows 7 installations.

Analysts will be (or should be) asking questions about Mac sales during Apple’s Jan. 28 financial call to build some sense of how Apple is performing in the Windows replacement curve.

Up next

I think it’s fair to assume that many of these Windows 7 machines will be replaced by Apple, but that replacement may achieve something even more profound.

Think back to the moment in 2003 when Steve Jobs announced “Hell had frozen over” and introduced Windows support to iPods. The already popular device was selling hundreds of thousands at that time; the introduction of Windows support pushed that number to tens of millions within months.

Those happy iPod owners helped juice higher Mac sales, while also setting the scene for the release of the iPhone, which (arguably, depending on who you speak to) now dominates the mobile enterprise.

With half a billion Windows PCs to replace, how many Macs does Apple have to sell through for the industry to declare the platform a success? At what point will we see a “Mac halo” emerge?

After all, as people use and share the benefits of the Macs they just got upgraded to, what chance is there that we’ll see a more profound move to replace PCs outside of Apple’s traditional markets? Perhaps there’s even an opening for a high-end Mac for the games market?

It’s something to play for with a third of the existing Windows market on the gaming table.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Apple’s chance to grow as half a billion Windows 7 PCs hit EOL

As Microsoft pulls support for near half a billion Windows 7 PCs, it’s make or break for Windows-based IT and Apple has a chance to reap good harvest here.

The great migration

Apple’s solutions are now in use across the entire Fortune 500.

The company’s enterprise credentials continue to extend. At a recent Apple-focused enterprise IT event, we encountered opinion and statistics to reinforce this point.

The point being that support for Apple technologies has become a human resources issue, and that people entering the workshop will choose to use that company’s technologies if they can.

This is prompting some of the world’s most influential enterprise firms to offer that choice to their employees.

Beyond HR considerations, IBM CIO Fletcher Previn points out multiple advantages Cupertino’s computers offer, not least in terms of net promoter score, user experience and the actual costs of management, upgrade and support.

“Now, I don’t know if better employees want Macs, or giving Macs to employees makes them better. You got to be careful about cause and effect — but there seems to be a lot of corroborating evidence that says you want to have a choice programme,” he said in November ’19.

The real enterprise IT

The positive upswell in support for Apple’s systems comes as around 417,000,000 Windows 7 devices (a big chunk of all Windows PCs currently in use worldwide) are about to experience Microsoft terminating support on January 14, 2020.

It’s a relatively safe assumption to think that at least some tens of thousands of these PCs could now be replaced by an iPad, or even a Mac.

Why wouldn’t some of these migrate to Apple’s platforms, when Microsoft’s fee-based extended support package costs up to $200 per device?

Apple’s Windows 7 replacement pitch

That’s a real opportunity for Apple, and gives the company a really deep chance to use the popularity of iPhones among enterprise users to pitch Mac sales in the new replacement drive.

It might not even need to try too hard to achieve this.

IBM has previously explained how running Macs is up to $543 per machine cheaper than running a Windows PC.

Add the cost of extended Windows 7 support to the likely cost savings of using a Mac; Factor in recruitment and staff retention costs and spice the sum with employee satisfaction, digital transformation and productivity benefits, and Apple has a good story to tell.

And a billion iPhone owners to tell it too.

It’s not as if the industry can’t see it coming

The analysts at IDC aren’t known to be Apple evangelists, but even they tell us enterprise IT decision makers expect to replace 13 percent of their current Windows 7 machines with Macs.

Now, 13 percent of all the Windows 7 devices out there equates to tens of millions of additional Mac sales in the coming 12-24 months, though the number of those systems deployed across the enterprise is likely considerably smaller.

All the same, it’s hard to ignore the potential for millions of additional Mac sales. Not to mention that those sales could snowball, particularly now Apple’s fixed the butterfly keyboard and got back to pressing for high user satisfaction levels.

Recent financial data suggests Apple is indeed experiencing such a Mac renaissance. 2019 saw what Apple CEO Tim Cook described as the, “Highest annual revenue ever from our Mac business.”

Mac sales revenues climbed 2 percent across 2019, despite PC market stagnation.

It’s a fairly good bet that more enterprise IT decision makers than ever are at least now considering offering Mac choice programs as they move to upgrade their existing Windows 7 installations.

Analysts will be (or should be) asking questions about Mac sales come Apple’s January 28 financial call to build some sense of how Apple is performing in the Windows replacement curve.

Up next:

I think it’s fair to assume that many of these Windows 7 machines will be replaced by Apple, but that replacement may achieve something even more profound.

Think back to the moment in 2003 when Steve Jobs announced “Hell had frozen over” and introduced Windows support to iPods.

The already popular device was selling hundreds of thousands at that time, but the introduction of Windows support pushed this to tens of millions within months.

Those happy iPod owners helped juice higher Mac sales, while also setting the scene for the release of the iPhone, which (arguably, depending on who you speak to) now dominates the mobile enterprise.

With half a billion Windows PCs to replace, how many Macs does Apple have to sell through for the industry to declare the platform a success? At what point will we see a ‘Mac halo’ emerge?

After all, as people use and share the benefits of the Macs they just got upgraded to, what chance is there that we’ll see a more profound move to replace PCs outside of Apple’s traditional markets?

Perhaps there’s even an opening for a high-end Mac for the games market?

It’s all to play for, with a third of the existing Windows market on the gaming table.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.





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FTC Fines Facebook $5 Billion

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) moved to fine Facebook $5 billion for violating the terms of a consent decree. The settlement represents the largest fine the FTC has ever levied against a company.

In early 2018, reports that Cambridge Analytica had detailed information about millions of Facebook users began to spread. The company (through third parties) created an app called “This is Your Digital Life” that claimed to be a personality quiz. Everyone who took the quiz shared information about themselves to Cambridge Analytica. But, they also shared data about every one of their friends to the company as well.

Even if you never took the quiz, your data could have shared to Cambridge Analytica. Eventually, Facebook admitted that over 87 million users had their data shared, whether or not they took the quiz.

At the time, Facebook was under an FTC consent decree in which the company promised not to make deceptive promises concerning user’s data security, and to get explicit permission before overriding a user’s permission settings, among other commitments.

This latest settlement charges that Facebook violated the decree. While $5 billion is the largest fine the FTC has ever issued, Facebook will likely survive with relative ease. The company had already set aside $3 billion in anticipation of the fine and made three times that in revenue in its last fiscal quarter. [Ars Technica]

RELATED: How to Check If Cambridge Analytica Has Your Facebook Info

In Other News:

  • Amazon Prime Day is underway: Amazon’s annual Prime Day started today and will go through the end of tomorrow. Remember, the only to really save money is not to spend it. And it’s only a discount if you were going to buy it anyway. We recommend checking sites like camelcamelcamel for pricing history too. [ReviewGeek]
  • Google kills its Blog Compass app: Google released an app in India called Blog Compass about ten months ago. It was designed to make managing Word Press and Blogger on the go easier. It didn’t last long though, as the company is already shutting the app down. [9to5Google]
  • Some Logitech USB receivers vulnerable to hack without update: Over three years ago Logitech confirmed its receivers were vulnerable to a particularly easy hack. A bad actor could detect the USB dongle, and take it over, allowing them to type on the connected PC. Logitech created firmware to patch the problem, but it still sells receivers without the firmware. Downloading patches from Logitech’s site is the best way to be safe. [The Verge]
  • K12.com accidentally exposed 7 million student records: Another day, another data leak: this time it’s your kid’s data on the line. K12.com, an online school for (as its name suggests) kindergarten through 12th grade, accidentally exposed the records of 7 million students. The data resided on a misconfigured server, which is, unfortunately, a common occurrence. [Engadget]
  • Hulu is bringing 4K streaming back: Hulu used to offer 4K streaming, but removed the feature “temporarily.” Now the company is once again offering high resolution streaming, but only to the Apple TV 5th generation and Chromecast Ultra to start. Hulu isn’t offering HDR yet either. [AppleInsider]
  • Watch a deleted storyboard scene from Tim Burton’s Batman: Usually, a deleted scene in storyboard format wouldn’t be something worth watching. But in this deleted scene, not only did Tim Burton introduce the caped crusader’s sidekick, Robin, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hammill provide the voices of Batman and Joker. Those two arguably gave us the best animated versions of Batman and Joker to this date. [Gizmodo]
  • Microsoft’s Word Android app has been installed over a billion times: Microsoft’s Windows Phone may be dead, but its mobile ambitions aren’t. You’ll find dozens of Microsoft apps on both Android and iOS. And now, its Word app has passed over a billion installs. That number likely included pre-packaged installs, but it’s still a pretty significant number in any case. [Android Police]

A new treatment may help some bats survive white noise syndrome.

If you have been on a cave tour with bats recently, you might have been surprised by the trip you took after the tour was over—a walk through a disinfectant mat. In some cases, you may have stepped through the Lysol solution before the trip as well.

Unfortunately, a fungal disease dubbed White Nose syndrome has been spreading rapidly to bats in the United States cave systems. As the name suggests, it shows up on the nose and looks like white foam. The disease is often fatal and has decimated bat populations, including wiping out 90% of the brown bat population.

The disinfectant mat you walked through became one of many steps to try and stop the spread of the disease. The fear is if you step into a cave where the fungal infection has already spread, it will stick to your footwear and lay dormant until your next cave trip elsewhere. When you step into that cave, you may be the unwitting carrier to a new population.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just our shoes the fungal spores stick to. Our coats, cameras, and other everyday camping items we take with us are also viable carriers. So the disease has continued to spread despite precautions.

Now scientists discovered that spraying affected bats on the nose with a “good” bacteria may fight off White Nose syndrome. In a few studies when tracking sprayed bats versus untreated bats, the former had a 50% survival rate over the winter after infection. The untreated bats did not fare nearly as well, often only having one survivor.

A 50% survivor rate still isn’t enough on its own, but it is an improvement. And hopefully combined with other treatments, we can prevent a total population die-out, at least long enough for bats to develop immunity on their own. [ScienceNews]





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What Was The First YouTube Video To Reach One Billion Views?

Still image from the Gangnam Style music video
Psy/YG Entertainment

Answer: Gangnam Style

In the summer of 2012, South Korean popstar Psy released his 18th single “Gangam Style”. This particular song (and the accompanying music video) blended a catchy tune, fun dance moves, and over-the-top theatrics that quickly caught the attention of not just fans in South Korea, but, courtesy of YouTube, hundreds of millions of international viewers.

The title of the song, repeated in the refrain, “Gangnam Style”, is a Korean neologism that refers to the very wealthy Gangnam District of Seoul, South Korea and the dress and behaviors of the people therein. While the neologism doesn’t have a perfect analog in American English, it would be like an American speaker saying “Hamptons Style” or “Beverly Hills Style” to refer to doing things in a super posh and wealthy way. The contents of the music video reflect this, with Psy dressed in formal wear at certain points, dancing in a horse stable, and otherwise wearing and doing things that flaunt wealth.

The combination of the catchy lyrics and the theatrics of the music video proved to be a huge hit both inside and outside of South Korea. By the end of 2012, the song had topped the music charts in over thirty countries and become the single most viewed video in the history of YouTube—it broke the billion-view mark in December of 2012 and has since gone on to accumulate over 3 billion total views.





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