San Francisco: Apple’s news service has reached 100 million monthly active users and customers spent more than $1.4 billion in the App Store between Christmas and New Year, the latest signs of growing revenue from the iPhone maker’s services business.
With demand for smartphones and other hardware peaking, Apple has been striving to boost sales from purchases of apps and subscription services like its newly launched Apple TV+ streaming service or Apple Care maintenance packages.
The company said that between December 24, 2019, and January 1, 2020, its customers spent $1.42bn in the App Store, a 16 per cent increase over the previous year, and $386 million on January 1 alone, a 20pc increase.
The number of users of the News app rose nearly 18pc from a year ago, although the company did not break out subscriber numbers for the Apple News+ service, which costs $9.99 per month.
The numbers also point to a big shift in spending in the Thanksgiving to Christmas holiday season in the US, with consumers splurging on apps and online shopping rather than in brick-and-mortar stores.
Mastercard’s data tracking retail sales from November 1 through Christmas Eve showed US shoppers spent almost a fifth more online during this year’s holiday shopping season than a year ago, accounting for 15pc of all retail sales.
The App Store growth numbers were roughly in line with the overall trend for Apple’s services segment revenue, which rose 16pc to $46.3bn in its most recent fiscal year ended in September. In comparison, iPhone sales fell 14pc to $142.4bn in the same period.
Apple keeps between 15pc and 30pc of the sales through its App Store, depending on whether users buy software as a one-time purchase or recurring subscription. The company launched several new services in 2019, including the streaming service, a video game service and a credit card.